Nigerian banks cheated customers by N6bn in 2012- Sanusi

Sanusi says that more women should aspire to get to the top of the boards so that they can support more grassroots women.

The Central Bank of Nigeria said on Thursday that over N6 billion was recovered for customers that were cheated through various transactions undertaken with Nigerian banks in 2012.

The Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, said this at the annual Isaac Moghalu Foundation, IMOF Lecture and Symposium in Abuja. He also said that the recovery was in furtherance of CBN’s policy aimed at protecting customers’ interests in the financial services sector.

“The Director of Consumer Protection has recovered over N6 billion in the last one year for customers that were cheated by banks,” Mr. Sanusi said.

Mr. Sanusi said the achievement was recorded through various gender-related reforms carried out at the Central Bank as part of the Board’s commitment to ensure equal opportunities for all employees.

According to him, in furtherance of the balanced gender agenda of the Board, trainings had also been organised for 650 staffers of the bank.

He criticised women at the top of their careers and those in top political offices who use their positions for self-serving agenda, saying most of them fail to initiate or support programmes that would help in alleviating poverty, particularly among the vulnerable grassroots women and girls.

He said the much desired women empowerment dream may not be realised if they failed to support the less-privileged others, pointing out that the current regime of credit policies in the financial services sector is gender biased as a deliberate policy to remove all barriers that inhibit women from accessing credit in order to enhance their capacity to contribute more to national economic development.

“If one has a credit process that says that one needs tangible collateral or landed property in a society where women do not generally hold titles to land, one has already cut women off credit because men own the land and houses. And for women to even approach a bank for a loan is almost impossible,” he said.

To address the problem, Mr. Sanusi said the CBN was already asking the banks to look at those credit policies that could better promote the financial inclusion of millions of women who are very productive but still excluded by the existing policies.

On the issues of performance and reward, Mr. Sanusi said it was wrong to promote men simply because they put in more hours at work, whereas women have to go home early to attend to their families, thereby missing out often on promotion in the office.

Canvassing the agenda of more women in leadership positions in the banking sector further, Mr. Sanusi insisted that more women should aspire to get to the top of the boards so that they can support more grassroots women who do not have access to education, die during childbirth, and have no access to primary healthcare and jobs.

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