Prof. Ladi Hamalai, former Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILS), has urged the National Assembly to enact laws that would empower the Federal Government to utilise monies in dormant accounts in banks.
Hamalai, currently serving at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), who disclosed this while speaking at a monthly Policy Dialogue on funding Next Level in Abuja, said this would help the government fund critical projects in the country.
She said Nigeria must copy from advanced countries of the world, which often used such monies to develop critical infrastructure in the country.
“The banking industry has been taking advantage of huge sums left in dormant accounts across the country to declare huge profits.
“In advanced countries, the situation is different because such monies are usually forfeited to government instead of the banks.
“I think we should follow suit by making similar laws to transfer those monies to government accounts. These little money that we leave in our dormant accounts, turn out to be huge sums when added together.
“We could use them to fund critical development projects in the country,’’ Hamalai said.
She said attempt was made during her tenure as NILS DG, to sponsor a bill on the subject at the National Assembly, but it failed.
“We drafted a bill while I was at the National Institute for Legislative Studies on the issue, unfortunately, it was killed midway.
“I think our current lawmakers owe us a duty to enact such laws to move the country forward,” she stressed.
She also urged government to strengthen anti corruption agencies towards enhancing their operations.
Participants at the event included university lecturers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, representatives of anti corruption agencies, the media, labour unions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)