- Senator Uba Sani has revealed why the bill on the amendment to banking and financial institutions act should be speedily passed by the Senate
- The lawmaker gave the hint on Tuesday, May 19, in Abuja
- According to him, the bill seeks to update the laws governing banks, financial institutions, and financial services companies in Nigeria
A bill for an act to amend the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA 1991) has passed through second reading at the Senate.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Kaduna, Nasir Dambatta, reports that while giving the hint on Tuesday, May 19, the lawmaker who represents Kaduna Central at the upper legislative chamber, Uba Sani, said the BOFIA (Repeal and re-enactment) bill 2020, seeks to update the existing Act and bring it in line with global best practices.
He said the old act was enacted about 30 years ago adding that it has become obsolete as a lot of changes have taken place in the strategic banking sector giving rise to new and emerging challenges and opportunities.
"The challenge of COVID-19 and the need to safeguard and strengthen our banking sector has made the repeal and re-enactment of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA 1991) an urgent and strategic imperative," he said.
He enumerated the objectives of the bill as seeking to update the laws governing banks, financial institutions and financial services companies as well as to enhance efficiency in the process of obtaining/granting banking licenses.
Other objectives according to the senator, include better clarifying and accurately delineating the regulatory functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the financial services industry and updating and incorporating the laws for enacting, licensing, and regulation of micro-finance banks in the country.
The bill also aims to "regulate the activities of Financial Technology Companies (FINTECHs) and to update commensurate penalties for regulatory breaches in the financial services sector and ensure these penalties are stiff enough to serve as a deterrent to potential breaches."
One of the major indices of a nation on the path of sustainable development, Uba Sani observed, is the depth and stability of its financial sector.
"A stable financial sector will lift Nigeria to a new height in a Post-COVID19 world. A stable and strengthened banking sector will refocus its activities and concentrate on providing credit access to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to help grow the economy. We must, therefore, take all necessary measures to ensure the stability of the financial sector," he said.
While thanking the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, and his colleagues in the Senate for their enthusiastic support for the bill, Uba Sani said: "It is my hope that the bill will be passed in record time because of its strategic importance to the stability of our financial sector."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the bill passed through the first reading in the Senate on Tuesday, May 12.
Sani said the ultimate goal he said, is to infuse confidence in the nation's financial system and help bolster the nation's economy. The sentaor said he hoped for "a quick passage of this important bill."
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