Assets declaration: Fear grips bank chiefs as EFCC sends strong warning

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There are indications that bank chiefs are having sleepless nights as Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has insisted that chief executives of commercial banks must declare assets, despite subtle resistance from those concerned.

Bawa who disclosed this at the opening session of a capacity-building workshop organized by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC for the law enforcement agencies in Abeokuta, Ogun State, explained that the directive was not meant to witch-hunt anyone, but necessary to prevent another banking meltdown in the country.

It would be recalled that the anti-graft agency boss had on assumption of office in May this year, issued a statement directing bank CEOs to declare their assets in order to promote financial transparency.

He also stated that its directive was in conformity with Section 1 of the Bank Employees, ETC. (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986.

“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.

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The EFCC boss said it will press ahead to implement the directive despite resistance by those concerned. He, however, stated that the Commission was not particularly after any CEO, adding that the measure became important in order to rid the financial sector of corruption.

According to him, “I recall that upon assumption of office, one of the major pronouncements I made was giving a directive to bankers to declare their assets before June 1, 2021.

“It is obvious that those who kicked or are still kicking against the directive are ignorant of the unmistakable details of the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act.

“The nation cannot afford to go through another serious crisis in the banking sector, and this explains the constant intervention by the EFCC.”

In 2010, many commercial bank CEOs were sacked and later charged to court by the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi over mismanagement of customers’ deposits.