Nigeria’s House of Representatives to check excesses of Bank employees

The Nigerian House of Representatives says its decision to expand the scope of the Bank Employees Act Amendment being considered is to check the excesses of not only bank employees but financial institutions in general.

The Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, Ibrahim Abdullahi Dutse, made this known in a chat with news reporters on the importance of the amendment and what it sets out to cure in the sector.

Abdullahi Dutse said the committee has already gotten referral from the House to expand the scope of the Bank Employees Act and Other Related Matters with a view to including employees of Banks, Insurance and Lending Firms’ as well as increase the frequency of their assets declaration annually.

“You will agree with me that in modern times, there has been a surge in the establishment of various forms of financial institutions in our society, in comparison with what was obtainable in the 1960s and even 1980s when financial institutions in Nigeria were mostly banks.

“Today, we have a proliferation of insurance companies, mortgage banks, Pension Fund Administrators and even lending organizations etc.

who equally require supervision like banks,” the Lawmaker said.

Abdullahi Dutse said the committee is expected to look at Clause 1 (1) of the Bill which seeks to “compel employees of a bank to immediately declare their assets including those of their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 18years.

“The Bill also amends the existing legislation by inserting a new Clause which attempts to ban bank employees from maintaining and operating personal bank accounts in any country outside Nigeria.

“Clause 3 of the Bill also seeks to mandate the President to direct by a published instrument in the federal gazette informing the application of provisions of the Act to other financial institutions.

“Thus, the Bill defines other financial institutions to include any individual, body, and association or group of persons whether corporate or incorporated other than banks licensed in accordance with relevant laws which carries business of a discount house, finance company and money brokerage.

“For this reason, the proposed legislation aims to expand the application of the Bill to other financial institutions such as Pension Fund Administrators, Insurance and Stock Brokers and such other institutions as defined therein.

“In conclusion, the Bill provides a definition of some terms used, and cites the short title as, Bank Employees etc.

(Declaration of Assets) (Amendment) Bill, 2021,” he said.

While stressing the National Assembly’s resolve to sanitize the country’s financial institution in line with its Legislative Agenda, Abdullahi Dutse said the amendment is to make the laws conform with the current realities in the country.

“It is worthy of note that the Act was promulgated under the military era and as such, carries with it, some elements of that regime, hence the significance of this Amendment,” the Chairman said.

The House on Tuesday, 29 June, 2021, debated on the basic principles of the Bill for Act to Amend the Bank Employees Etc.

(Declaration of Asset) Act Chapter 81 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to reflect the Prevailing Situation in the Country and for Related Matters.

The Bill was subsequently passed for Second Reading and referred to the Committee on Financial Crimes for further legislative actions.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives to check excesses of Bank employees

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