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National Assembly moves to bar bankers from operating foreign accounts

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The House of Representatives is considering a bill seeking to bar bank workers and staff of other financial institutions from operating accounts outside the shores of Nigeria.

Their spouses and children may also be mandated to declare their assets when a bill presently at the House becomes law.

This was contained in the ‘Bank Employees, Etc., (Declaration of Assets)(Amendment) Bill 2021’, which has scaled first reading, The Punch reports.

The legislation was 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’.

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Shina Peller, the lawmaker representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal constituency in Oyo State, sponsored the bill and proposed a series of amendments to the Act.

Section 1 of the Act is to be amended by deleting the existing subsections and inserting new ones that read; “(1) Every employee of a bank shall, immediately after assuming duty and, thereafter, at the determination of his (or her) employment, and in the case of a serving banker, within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the Declaration of Assets form from the appropriate authority or at such other intervals as the President or the appropriate authority may specify, make a full disclosure of his (or her) properties, assets and liabilities, and those of his (or her) spouse or unmarried children under the age of 18 years.

“(2) For the purpose of this section, a transfer or secondment from one bank to another shall be treated as a new employment.”

The bill is also seeking amendment to Section 5 by inserting new subsections that prohibits foreign accounts for bank workers.

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“(a) A bank employee shall not maintain or operate a personal bank account in any country outside Nigeria.

“(b) Any complaint that a bank employee has committed a breach of or has not complied with the provisions of this Act shall be made to the Central Bank of Nigeria or the appropriate regulatory body in the case of employees of other Financial Institutions.”

Section 12 of the Act is to be amended by deleting the existing provisions and replacing them with, “(1) The President may direct by an instrument published in the Federal Gazette that the provisions of this Act be applied to other financial institutions. (2) Where the President directs as provided in Subsection 1 of this section, the Act shall apply subject to such textual modification as may be necessary for its execution.”

 
 
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