Bankers In Nigeria May Declare Assets As Senate Moves To Amend 35-Year-Old BEDA Act

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The senate on Tuesday considered a bill seeking to amend the 35-year-old Bank Employees Declaration of Assets (BEDA) Act 1986.

Ezrel Tabiowo, special assistant (Press) to the senate president, said this in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“The bill for an Act to amend the Bank Employees (Declaration of Assets) Act CAP B1 Laws of the federation 2010 and for other related matters 2022 (SB. 900)” was sponsored by Senator Sani Musa (Niger East).

According to the statement, Musa, in his lead debate, said the BEDA Act came into force 35 years ago on September 26, 1986.

He, however, observed that with the creation of the Code of Conduct Bureau, which came into effect 13 years after the BEDA Act, the provisions in the latter have been overtaken by the 1999 Constitution as amended.

In 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced that all employees of financial institutions (including banks) in Nigeria must declare their assets before in line with the provisions of the BEDA Act 1986.

Accordingly, the senator said the bill when passed and signed into law, would make it mandatory for financial institutions, pension fund administrators, insurance firms and stockbrokers and their employees to declare their assets.

He said that it would also provide the required framework to monitor the financial activities of employees of banks and pension administrators to ensure that their lifestyle reflects their earnings.

He added that doing so would discourage the employees from engaging in corrupt practices.

“This bill seeks to extend the application of the Act to employees of other financial institutions which have emerged as key players in the Nigerian financial sector over the years, i.e. pension funds agencies, insurance firms, stockbrokers,” the statement quoted Musa as saying.

The lawmaker further explained that the bill also seeks to unburden the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) of the responsibility of keeping records of declared assets by Nigeria Customs and bank workers and transferring same to the regulator of each industry.

The bill after scaling the second reading during plenary was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the committee on Banking, Insurance and other financial institutions.

The committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber.

– The Cable

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