As part of measures to rid the Nigerian financial system of fraudulent activities, Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has given all operators in the sector, especially bankers, until June 1, 2021, to declare their assets.
The agency’s newly appointed Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, made the declaration following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Tuesday, March 16.
He said the move is also in line with the Bank Employees (Declaration of Asset) Act, 1986, as he hopes that this will block the channels being used for money laundering and illicit financial flows by some questionable characters in the sector.
Bawa said, ”We are doing our best to ensure that this country is free of financial crimes. We understood that the tail end of every financial crime is for the criminal to have access to the funds that he or she has illegitimately gotten, and we’re worried about the roles of financial institutions.
”We hope that all financial institutions, particularly the bankers, will declare their assets as provided for by the law, in accordance with the Bank Employees Declaration of Asset Act. And that the EFCC, come June 1, 2021, will be demanding for this asset declaration forms, filled by the bankers so that the line that we have drawn from the first of June is really complied with by bankers in particular.”
Referencing the Act, the EFCC boss added: “Section 1 of the Bank Employees, ETC. (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986 makes it mandatory for every employee of a bank to make full disclosure of assets upon employment, and annually in subsequent years.
‘’The law under Section 7 (1) stipulates that it shall be an offence for an employee of a bank to own assets in excess of his legitimate known and provable income. The penalty for violation of the Act as spelt out in section 7 (2) includes imprisonment for a term of ten years.
‘’Any employee guilty of an offence under subsection (1) of this section shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for ten years and shall, in addition, forfeit the excess or its equivalent in money to the Federal Government.”
On February 24, 2021, the National Assembly confirmed Bawa as the new EFCC Chairman following the dramatic removal of the former head of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
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