The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says from June 1, it will start asking operators in the Nigerian financial system, particularly bankers to declare their assets.

The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrashed Bawa gave the indication on Tuesday while speaking with journalists at the State House Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Bawa expressed worry that financial institutions are helping criminals to have access to proceeds of their crime.

Bawa said: “Come June 1, 2021, the EFCC will be demanding for this asset declaration forms, filled by the bankers so that the line that we have drawn from June 1 is really complied with by bankers in particular”.

The EFCC boss explained why the of the policy is necessary, saying that the action would help to block some of the loopholes currently being exploited by unscrupulous players in the sector to undermine the Nigerian economy through money laundering and illicit financial flows.

A statement signed by the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren and obtained by Brave Views, quoted Mr. Bawa as saying that the directive was in line with the Bank Employees, ETC. (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986, enacted to ensure adequate measures in sanitising the nation’s financial system.

Mr. Bawa said the commission had discussed the issue and expressed 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.

He further explained that Sections 1 and 7 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 annually upon employment and in subsequent years.

Mr. Bawa disclosed 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 EFCC Chairman maintained that the penalty for violation of the Act, as spelt out in section 7(2) includes imprisonment for a term of 10 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 assets or its equivalent in money to the Federal Government”.

He expressed worry about youth involvement in cybercrime, appealing to parents to take a special interest in the activities of their children.

Bawa observed that parents have a responsibility to ensure that they nurture their children with the right set of values to ensure that they are not easily swayed by the allure of easy money through fraud means and cybercrimes.

He warned the youths to learn that there is no shortcut to enduring wealth.

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