..discount houses now to be affected
The House of Representatives is to expand the scope of the Bank Employees Etc. (Declaration of Assets)(Amendment) Bill, 2021 to cover individuals whether cooperate or not involved in the business of a discount house, finance company and money brokerage.
The law seeks to make compulsory the declaration of assets by bank employees, in financial Pension Fund Administrators, Insurance companies and stock brokers while preventing them from opening bank accounts outside the country.
Addressing a news conference ahead of the public hearing on the bill, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, Rep. Ibrahim Abdullahi Dutse the overall objective of the legislative proposal is to check the excesses of not only bank employees but, financial institutions in general.
He said “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.
“For this reason, the proposed legislation aims to y 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.
“The Amendment Bill which is sponsored by Hon. Abiola Shina Pellar seeks to basically amend or review the existing Act to conform to 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.
“Accordingly, Clause 1, sub-clause (1) of the Bill 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 account 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.”