Abiodun OBA

 

Employees in the banking sector, who engage in fraudulent activities, may face heavier punishment if a bill pending before the House of Representatives succeeds.

 

The bill passed the second reading in the plenary of the House in Abuja on Wednesday.

 

It is the “Bill for an Act to Amend the Bank Employees etc. (Declaration of Assets) Act, Cap. BI, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters.”

 

A key proposal in the piece of legislation is to raise the punishment for insider fraud by bank employees from 10 years to a 20-year term of imprisonment.

 

The sponsor, Rep. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, informed the House that fraudulent practices and other abuses in the banking sector had been on the increase in recent times.

He argued that the longer jail term would serve as a deterrent to employees planning to defraud customers or collude with others to achieve the same criminal aim.

 

The Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over proceedings, referred the bill to the Committee on Banking and Currency soon after it passed the second reading.

 

The committee, in the next stage of the bill’s journey, will call for a public hearing.

 

The committee will thereafter, report its collated views from the hearing to the House for further actions.

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