The Senate on Tuesday started the process of amending the Bank Employees Act to provide for the inclusion of staff of all financial institutions in the compulsory declaration of assets.
Tagged, “A bill for an Act to amend the Bank employees etc. (declaration of assets) Act cap b1 laws of the federation 2010 and for related matters 2022”, it was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Musa (Niger East). Musa said the bill sought to amend the Bank Employees, etc. (Declaration of Assets) Act, Laws of the Federation 2010.
He added that it would bring it in conformity with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, as well as resolving certain anomalies brought about by the present day realities and best practices in our financial system.
Musa said further that it would provide the necessary legal framework regarding assets declaration of employees in the financial institutions, pension fund administrators, stock brokers, insurance firms and ensure that their employees’ assets declaration are regulated by the relevant and statutory regulator of the specific sector.
The statutory regulators for the various sectors are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Pensions Commission, Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Insurance Commission.
He also said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on March 16, 2021, announced that all employees of financial institutions (including banks) in Nigeria must declare their assets before June 1, 2021.
He said the instruction was in line with the provisions of the Bank Employees, etc. (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986 (the EFCC Order).
The directive, he said, elicited several debates as to who the appropriate authority was and the status of the bank workers, and bank casual/part-time workers.
He said: “The BEDA Act expressly states that all manner, title and types of workers in the bank and financial institutions are to declare their assets.
“The Act covers all employees of financial institutions in Nigeria and those in their foreign branches, from the bank executives to cleaners, drivers, messengers and the last person on their chain, whether in full or temporal employment.
“By the provisions of the Principal Act, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, being the appropriate authority, was given the responsibility of keeping completed forms of Assets Declaration by employees of banks and Customs Service.
“Then, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had the combined functions of the present Head of Service of the Federation, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“Whether those records of assets declaration were kept as prescribed by the Act or not is yet to be ascertained.”
Credit: THISDAY newspaper