Home Finance EFCC jolts bankers as many are in quandary on assets declaration

EFCC jolts bankers as many are in quandary on assets declaration

by Business News Report

Bankers in the country are jilting over the directive by Economic and Financial Commission for every banker to declare their assets. Bank executives who owns Real Estate, and phoney company that act as contract staff employer for the banks are in a fix as to how the game will play out. Bank sources said that many of the banks use their wives to employ cashiers and other contract staff, a means through which they siphon money out of the bank. Many of the banks principal shareholders use their real Estate unit to rent properties for the bank at astronomical rental. This way they make huge personal profit from the bank.

The new Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, has directed that all operators in the Nigerian financial system, especially bankers, must declare their assets latest by June 1, 2021. The EFCC boss said that the move is in line with the Bank Employees (Declaration of Asset) Act. 1986, is part of the measures to sanitise the country’s financial system.  Bawa said this while speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja. Bawa, who pointed out that this meant to ensure that the country is free of financial crimes, also said that this will block some of the loopholes being exploited by unscrupulous players in the sector to undermine the Nigerian economy through money laundering and illicit financial flows.

Bawa in his statement 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.”

Going further he said, “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.’’ Bawa, who was nominated as the substantive EFCC Chairman on February 16, 2021, following the removal of the former head of the anti-corruption agency, Ibrahim Magu, was confirmed by the National Assembly on February 24, 2021. The EFCC boss, who met with the president for the second time since his appointment last two weeks, revealed that he updated Buhari on the ongoing reforms being carried out by the new management of the commission.

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