- Senate has passed the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act bill into law
- Senator Uba Sani described the passage of the bill as a milestone in his legislative journey
- The lawmaker also noted that the bill has set the stage for the reinvention of the banking and financial services sector in Nigeria
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The Senate on Wednesday, July 22, passed a bill for an act to repeal the banks and other financial institutions act 2004 and to re-enact Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) laws of Nigeria 2004.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Kaduna, Nasir Dambatta, reports that the bill was co-sponsored by the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central at the Senate, Uba Sani and Senator Betty Apiafi.
Senator Sani said the passage of the bill marks another milestone in his legislative journey and sets the stage for the reinvention of the banking and financial services sector in Nigeria.
He hailed the Senate for standing to be counted on the side of reinvention of the banking and other financial services sector, and by extension the strengthening of Nigeria's economy.
Senator Sani, who is the chairman Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, said that the banking and other financial institutions act which was last amended/reviewed in 1991, was long overdue for review and amendment.
He said: "A robust legal framework is very critical and strategic to maintaining the health of the banking sector in order to prevent future distress.
"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, enhance and properly regulate electronic transactions system that will propel operational efficiency and boost customer confidence in the banking sector."
Senator Uba Sani commended the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, for his support and leadership which he said is transforming the Senate into a genuine institution for high impact and pro-people legislations.
He expressed gratitude to fellow senators, members of his committee, key stakeholders in the banking and other financial services sector, experts and members of the public for their inputs and support.
"It has been a worthwhile journey. A journey that has culminated in a bill that holds huge potentials for a reinvigorated and sustainable banking sector in Nigeria," Uba Sani said.
In his reaction after the passage of the bill, Lawan said that the passage of the bill is one of the most important things to happen to the nation's financial and banking environment.
He said: "I think we have passed one of the most important bills. The financial environment, especially the banking environment, today faces special challenges that require legislative intervention."
Senator Sani further explained that the passage of the bill was sequel to his submission to the Senate for the consideration of the report by his committee.
"The report recalled that the Senate of the federal republic of Nigeria at its sitting on Tuesday 19th May, 2020, read for the second time the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap, B3, LFN, 2004 Repeal and Re-enactment Bill, 2020 and referred same to the committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions for further legislative action.
"The report detailed the objectives of the bill, the methodology adopted by the Committee in carrying out its assignment, especially the highly successful public hearing which recorded impressive attendance by key stakeholders, and the updated recommendations of the Committee.
"The committee, after a painstaking evaluation and analysis of submissions, observations and the preponderance of views expressed in support of the proposed legislation recommended. That the Senate do approve the attached recommendations of the Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions on a bill for an act to repeal the banks and other financial Institutions Act, CAP, B3, LFN, 2004 and re-enact the banks and other financial institutions act, 2020," Sani explained.
The senator further stated that before the passage of the bill on Wednesday, July 22, a clause by clause consideration by the Senate at its plenary, followed the public hearing by his committee on Wednesday, July 15, to consider the opinions of stakeholders in the industry such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the federal ministry of finance, body of bank CEOs and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC).
"The Bill seeks to regulate banking and businesses of other financial institutions by prohibiting the carrying on of such businesses in Nigeria except under licence and by a company incorporated in Nigeria.
"The bill also made adequate provisions for proper licensing, supervision and revocation of licenses of such institutions by the Central Bank of Nigeria," he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Senator Sani lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over their exceptional roles in rebooting the nation's economy following the hardship occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The senator said the phased easing of the lockdown across the country was a masterstroke by the president, adding that like most other good leaders, the president was worried that the lockdowns were taking a dangerous toll on Nigeria's economy.
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