The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions has counselled the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) not to mislead Nigerians on the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020 (BOFIA).
It said it was too late for the group to talk on an act that was already ratified by the National Assembly.
Reacting to the recent observations by NESG in a statement on Wednesday, the Chairman senate committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani expressed concerns over certain provisions of the BOFIA 2020 amendment which the group is requesting the President to withhold assent until the bill is “properly reviewed, amended and made fit for purpose.”
Senator Uba who is representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District noted that his committee was shocked at the recent criticisms by the group, saying they lack the moral right to do so now.
He challenged their competence, which as one of the key stakeholders that were expected to take a critical look at the repealed and re-enacted bill failed to do so, advising them not to mislead Nigerians on the bill that was meant to repositioned banking and financial sectors in the country.
“The National Assembly subjected the bill to a public hearing. Stakeholders made written submissions and were present at the National Assembly to canvass and defend their positions.
“The Senate Committee received a total of 32 memoranda. Some of the key stakeholders that made written and oral submissions were Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Federal Ministry of Finance, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Money Deposit Banks, Infrastructure Bank, Bank of Agriculture, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.
Others were Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Association of Bureau De Change, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFE), Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company, Nigeria Labour Congress/Trade Union Congress, FINTECH Development & Advocacy Initiative and Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions.
‘Access Bank PLC, Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN),” all made submissions he declared.
Apart from that, he explained that committees of both houses distilled the positions of stakeholders, addressed their key concerns and incorporated their inputs before submitting final reports to the Senate and House of Representatives.
“It, therefore, beats our imagination that the leadership of NESG that failed its members by refusing to attend a very important public hearing can just wake up from their slumber and condemn a bill that was painstakingly put together and passed by the National Assembly.
‘It is also clear to us that the leadership of NESG has not read the bill. They are just acting on hearsay. They may have just picked up some gossips from individuals bent on shooting down the bill for their own selfish or collective interests.
‘ The bill did not confer immunity on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials. It does not exempt actions by the CBN from judicial review,” he said.
” We hope they are not being used by some forces to undermine efforts being made to stabilize the financial sector and reposition the economy in this challenging period.
“If the group means well for the country, it is advised to drop its ill-conceived campaign against Presidential assent to the BOFIA bill. It may wish to consult members of the National Assembly for an Amendment Bill. This is time for stakeholders to work cooperatively in the interest of the Nigerian people,” he said.