The Senate yesterday considered a bill seeking to amend the 35-year-old Bank Employees Declaration of Assets (BEDA) Act 1986.
“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).
Musa, in his lead debate, said the BEDA Act came into force 35 years ago on the 26th of September, 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.
He recalled that on March 16, 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced that all employees of financial institutions (including banks) in Nigeria must declare their assets before 1st June, 2021, in line with the provisions of the BEDA Act 1986.
Accordingly, Senator Musa stated that the bill, when passed and signed into law, would make it mandatory for financial institutions, pension fund administrators, insurance firms and stock brokers and their employees to declare their assets.
According to him, 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, stock brokers”, Senator Musa said.
The lawmaker explained that the bill also seeks to unburden the office of the secretary to the government of the federation of the responsibility of keeping records of declared assets by Nigeria Customs and bank workers, and transferring the same to the regulator of each industry.
The bill after scaling 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.
In a related development, two bills seeking to establish the National Institute for Education Planning and Administration; and Federal College of Education Okobo, Akwa-Ibom State, have both passed second reading in the Senate.
The bills were sponsored by Senators Patrick Akinyelure (Ondo Central) and Akon Eyakenyi (Akwa-Ibom South), respectively.
The bills after consideration were referred by the Senate President to the committees on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in four weeks.