It looks like a great idea. Yes, if every stolen money in Nigeria is warehoused or shipped abroad via the banking system, restricting bank leaders from operating bank accounts may reduce corruption. That is what a new proposal in the Nigerian parliament is pushing for: “It was observed that the Principal Act did not prohibit employees of banks from having foreign accounts. This omission may be exploited. The Amendment Bill expressly prohibits employees of banks from operating foreign accounts.” Besides the accounts, there is also a new playbook: the “Bill makes assets declaration by declarants to include the assets of their spouses and unmarried children less than 18 years old.” This is a distraction!
Workers in the banking sector may be barred from operating foreign accounts as the House of Representatives passed for second reading a bill to amend Banks Employees Act.
On Tuesday, the lawmakers debated the bill that seeks to amend a decree promulgated by the Ibrahim Babangida military administration.
The proposed bill provides that bank employees and customs officers must declare their assets.
According to the principal Act, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is the custodian of the asset declaration for bankers and customs officers.
Get me right: the government has to do what it has to do and the legislators certainly will put efforts to show they are working. But one question I have is this: has asset declaration and prohibition of foreign bank accounts stopped politicians from stealing Nigeria dry? What is the working paper examining when we introduced that law and what the impact has become? Daily, Nigeria continues to make laws without data, making everything look like a guesswork.
We do not need these distractions. Nigeria has many laws in the books to clean the society. What is lacking is strong enforcement. You do not need another law to try those who sent cash-stuffed bullion vans a night to election or the bank director who made payments to INEC commissioners. We know these people, and we have done nothing because they are untouchable people. By resorting to this law, the parliament is creating an impression that had we had the law, we could have done better.
Do not be deceived. It is all a show!---
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