Disquiet as banks force workers to declare assets

Following escalating cases of fraud in the banking sector, the Federal Government has ordered a staff assets verification and declaration exercise for every bank worker in the country.

However, this appears to be causing some disquiet among the workers as some of the questions raised in the forms are almost impossible to answer.

It was learnt that the forms issued to the bank workers to fill were markedly different from the standard Assets Declaration Form issued by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

It was further gathered that the  workers were asked to state names of their siblings, parents as well as all persons that they have business relationship with including their bank details as well as how much they have in their accounts.

Our sources in a new generation bank explained that the staff were given up to last week Friday to submit the forms but most of the workers refused to fill details aside from their personal information.

When contacted, spokesperson of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Isaac Okorafor said the directive for banks  toverify assets of their staff did not come from the apex bank.

He said “if there is any such thing happening in banks, such banks will be in a better situation to explain why they are doing it.

“if it was a CBN directive, I would be able to explain it to you”, Okorafor said.

But when our correspondent spoke with a senior manager with a first generation bank, he insisted that the directive that bank workers should declare their assets was from the apex bank.

The source, which did not want his name in print said that the move came in view of increasing incidence of fraud among bankers.

“If you declare your assets this year and it is stated that you have two cars, you cannot then acquire 10 cars within the next two years and claim that you got them through a fantastic salary that you are earning”, the source stated.

According to the 2015 annual report of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), 12,279 cases involving the sum of N18.02 billion were reported in the banking sector during the year.

The report also indicated that eventually, only N3.17 billion was actually lost.