The Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said that the closure of courts during the pandemic affected revenue generation streams for the courts and added that the pandemic forced the Central Bank to adopt new regulatory frameworks.
Mr Emefiele disclosed this on Tuesday during the 20th National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges, which was themed, “The Judiciary and the Financial Services Industry in the New Normal: Challenges, Innovation and Regulations”.
Emefiele said the lockdowns resulted in reduced productive man-hours in an already challenging industry.
“Of course, this situation would have resulted naturally in the buildup of backlog of cases in a judicial system that has already been challenged with high incidence of protracted trials,” he said.
He added that the court closures greatly impacted revenue-generating opportunities for the courts, including court fees.
“The closure of courts during the lockdown would likely also have impacted on the revenue generation as some fees, such as filing fee, etc, most likely would not have been earned,” he said.
He urged the Judicial sector to rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic, citing regulatory changes the CBN had to make in adjusting to the new normal.
“So what we think the impact of this new normal could be on these two key sectors particularly, is for the judicial system to rise to the challenge posed by the new normal.
“As the financial services sector continues to witness rapid innovation in the product and service delivery channels, it is important to mention that this was happening prior to Covid-19 as we saw new technology, new innovations spring up, new entrants, new activities and new players in the system.
“But now with coronavirus even more prevalent, the CBN and other financial services have had to adjust the regulatory and supervisory framework in response to these changes.
“ In this phase, the Judicial system will also need to keep abreast of this transformation in order to be in full position to adjudicate cases presented by the sector,” he said.
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