CISLAC: Banker’s ‘Declaration of asset’ order will curtail illicit financial flows
NEWS DIGEST – Mr Bawa’s blaring order to all bankers demanding that they declare their assets before June 1, 2021, has drawn praise from CISLAC, a leading civil society.
On Tuesday, EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa obliged the provisions of Section 1 of the Bank Employees (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986 which mandated that an employee of a bank make a full disclosure of his assets upon employment.
Mr. Bawa had said the EFCC was “worried about the roles of financial institutions” towards the prevalence of financial crimes in the country.
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CISLAC, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, reasons this could be the move that will help discourage illicit financial flows that consistently sustain the rigours of terrorism in the country.
“The banking sector has been largely implicated in money laundering where they have been instrumental in the initial entry of an amount of money earned from criminal activity into some legitimate financial network,” Comrade Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC said.
With the financial sector culpably involved in money laundering, the country risked running into a period of low socio-economic growth and development, political instability and political unrest as seen with recent happenings in the country, Rafsanjani added.
These ‘recent happenings’ largely concern gross inflation in the country that has considerably reduced the standard of living and the procurement of arms by bandits who use them to perpetrate kidnappings in the hope of profiting off the paid ransoms.
“With the ongoing security crisis in the nation, there couldn’t be a better time for the introduction of this initiative,” Rafsanjani said on the importance of Bawa’s proclamation.
According to data from the Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2018, more than 6,772 billionaires do not pay their taxes.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria has attempted to regulate the sector to check excesses in the financial sector, the country continues to lose $15—18 billion to illicit financial flows.
These losses, according to CISLAC, has resigned the country to its worst financial situation in its history and “every right-thinking Nigerian must accept every effort by government agencies and citizens alike to actualize expectations through legal and democratic measures.”
CISLAC urges all players involved to take pride in EFCC’s directives which holds true benefits for reducing corruption in the banking sector and to sufficiently complement, not usurp, the regulatory role of the CBN.
By Ezekiel O.