By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA- A former Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon. Yomi Ogunnusi has advised Nigerian companies to ensure they capture their correct turnover and income on all transactions to avoid recent ugly experience meted to group Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma.House of Representatives
Otunba Ogunnusi, who spoke on the backdrop of controversial arrest of Innocent Chukwuma by the Economic and financial Crime Commission, EFCC, over alleged forgery, charged companies to be up and doing with the support of financial and forensic experts.
He, however, remarked that excess bank charges, which led to the imbroglio, are not only predominant with private and public companies but also with states, federal accounts and MDAs.
Ogunnusi said, “Excess bank charges have become a curable disease in our day-to-day banking system. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with the Bankers committee on ethics and professionalism are checkmating and assisting to recover excess charges particularly from commercial Banks.
“From our past experiences in forensic audit and investigation of excess charges by banks, all the banks in Nigeria whether big or small are questionable on these sharp practice.
“It is of paramount importance that financial analyst besides auditors of organisation, external and internal, are in a better position to carry out an independent forensic service to review and recover excess bank charges, unauthorised debits, interest and commission.
“The big and successful companies in Nigeria need this from time to time, which is for financial consultants to carry out review of all transactions on accounts with banks and other financial institutions.
“This is with a view to ascertaining the correctness or otherwise of the various charges, commission and interest on the local and foreign exchange transactions including miscellaneous charges.
“There are antecedents of where for one reason or the other, these banks with which companies maintain current accounts particularly loan account passed into these accounts wrong debits as charges and commissions, which go unnoticed.
“In some instances frivolous charges are made on foreign exchange transactions which when converted into naira will amount to a huge loss.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in effort to curb down excess charges by banks work simultaneously with the bankers committee on ethics and privileges to adjudicate on such matters and the result in the last few years have been positive.”
The lawmaker recalled that, “In 2016 over N15 billion was recovered by CBN as excess charges from all the Nigerian banks in favour of their customers.
“The financial policy and regulation department (CBN) from time to time issue revised guide to bank charges applicable. Banks and medium houses are enjoined to ensure compliance with the provisions of the guide but unfortunately most of the banks are financially mischievous.
“Billions of naira has been recovered in the past in favour of companies like AIT, OBAT OIL, Triquest Petroleum Energy, ObafootNig Ltd, Nigeria Police force, Ekiti State Government to mention a few.
“With Innoson motors experience, it is now clear that Nigerian companies need to be able to capture their correct turnover and income on all transactions and should be up and doing with the support of financial and forensic experts.