THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged judges in the country to become more technologically savvy in order to improve justice delivery, particularly in the rapidly evolving financial services sector.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, made the appeal on Tuesday at the 21st National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges in Abuja.
Mr Kofo Salam-Alada, the bank’s Director of Legal Services, represented Emefiele at the event.
He stated that a deep understanding of the demonstration of electronic/digital payment systems by judges would provide comfort to foreign investors, knowing that there would be certainty in dispute resolution if the need arose.
Emefiele stated that the CBN was leveraging technology in its regulatory activities by utilizing regulatory technologies (RegTech), establishing regulatory sandboxes, and increasing capacity across the board.
“With the introduction of financial technology (Fintech) into the banking system around the world, it has become increasingly important for everyone to be aware of what Fintech brings on board.”
“A judicial officer or law enforcement agent who is familiar with relevant emerging innovation has an advantage in carrying out the primary assignment.”
“The courts will increasingly be called upon to adjudicate on complex technologically driven transactions and relationships.”
“As a result, a broad understanding of the scope of the law and widespread use of technological innovations by all will result in the delivery of better output,” he said.
Dr. Bayo Olugbemi, President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), stated that the topic of innovation in the administration of justice and banking operations has recently become very topical.
Olugbemi urged judicial officers to pay close attention to borrowers who evaded legal responsibilities by borrowing from depositors’ funds.
“It is unsurprising that the tendency to avoid legal responsibilities that borrowers freely accepted by taking loans from depositors’ funds has continued unabated.”
“What is perhaps surprising is that some of these delinquent customers continue to abuse court processes to further their unwholesome goals.”
“Aside from the well-known strategy of sabotaging debt collection efforts by employing various tactics to delay court proceedings.
“There are now new efforts to convert loans obtained for ostensibly business purposes into foreign currency and export them to other countries,” he said.
According to Justice Salisu Abdullahi, Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, the judiciary is an indispensable partner in ensuring the country’s financial system’s stability.
According to Abdullahi, the judiciary plays a critical role in establishing long-term solutions to daunting legal challenges, particularly in the financial services sector.
“Judges must be imbued with a sense of serenity, in addition to the necessary knowledge and skill to ensure efficient and timely disposition of cases, which will foster a conducive environment for business and investment to thrive,” Abdullahi said.
According to Mr. Olumide Akpata, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), technology has changed banking relationships.
Akpata commended the CIBN for continuing to hold the seminar after 21 years, noting that the theme was critical in ensuring quality justice delivery.
Akpata stated that the NBA had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CIBN to bring lawyers up to speed technologically.
“The landscape is changing, and those in charge of dispute resolution should be up to date,” he explained.
The two-day seminar, titled “Strengthening the Quality of Judicial Systems and Banking Operations through Innovations,” was attended by judges from across the country.
The seminar was organized by the CIBN in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute.