The House of Representatives has approved a bill for second reading that would require employees in the banking, insurance, and pension industries to declare their assets.
The proposed law will also prohibit employees of banks and other financial institutions from operating accounts outside of Nigeria’s borders. When a bill currently in the House becomes law, their spouses and children may also be required to declare their assets.
In addition, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would be relieved of the responsibility to keep records of declared assets by Nigeria Customs Service and bank employees, and the responsibility would be transferred to the relevant regulator of each industry.
The lawmaker representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal constituency in Oyo State, Mr Shina Peller, made these proposals in the Bank Employees, Etc., (Declaration of Assets)(Amendment) Bill 2021.
The legislation is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Bank Employees, Etc., (Declaration of Assets) Act CAP. B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to Reflect the Prevailing Situation in the Country.’
Peller, who led the bill debate, recalled that the Bank Employees (Declaration of Assets) Act CAP B1 Laws of the Federation 2004 was enacted by the military regime on September 26, 1986.
Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, had previously stated on March 16, 2021, that the commission would begin demanding asset declaration forms from bankers on June 1, 2021.
According to Bawa, the decision was made in accordance with the provisions of the Bank Employees Declaration of Asset Act.
However, Deposit Money Bank employees have stated that the EFCC should instead focus its asset declaration drive on bank managing directors and other government agencies.
In response to Bawa’s notice, bankers representing the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees said the EFCC should reconsider its position.