By Francis Ogwo
The closure of offices as a measure of control against the spread of COVID-19 grossly depleted the revenue generating sources of the courts.
This disclosure was made by the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday while also adding that the pandemic forced the Central Bank to adopt new regulatory frameworks.
The CBN boss was a guest at the 20th National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges, with the theme, “The Judiciary and the Financial Services Industry in the New Normal: Challenges, Innovation and Regulations”.
According to Emefiele, the lockdowns caused a sharp decline in the income from productive man hours of the courts.
“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 also added that revenue medium such as court fees and others were affected.
“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.
Emefiele advised the judiciary to strive towards meeting up with the challenges of the now with new measures of recovery.
“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 added.