Bankers to EFCC: We’re Not Afraid to Declare Assets

The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial institutions has said its members are not afraid to declare their assets as being required by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The union’s National President, Anthony Abakpa, disclosed this on Wednesday in an interview with The PUNCH.

The Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had said recently that the commission would from June 1 be demanding the asset declaration forms of bankers.

The development is said to be in compliance with the Bank Employees, etc (Declaration of Assets) Act 1986, with defaulters said to risk 10-year jail term if found guilty by any Federal High Court.

When asked for the position of bankers on the directive, which took effect from Tuesday, Abakpa said workers in the banking sector were guided by the principles of integrity, transparency and honesty, adding that they were not threatened by the pronouncement of the EFCC.

He said, “As far as we are concerned, transparency and honesty are key words. Bankers are transparent and they had to have integrity to have been recruited to work in the bank and insurance; of course, there is a high level of trust.

“So, bankers are not afraid to declare their assets whatever it is, since they don’t have anything to hide.”

When asked if the union was considering going to court or taking any other step to stop the enforcement, Abakpa said the union was not taking any action against the regulatory body.

“If we now say we should begin to take action, it will look as if we want to encourage those who are in the authority who have something to hide,” he added.

The NUFIBIE president reiterated the position of the union on the asset declaration demand, saying the EFCC should focus its efforts on bank executives.

“It shouldn’t be all categories of staff members who are in the bank. If they want to demand that, they should ask those in the big league, those people who hold top positions like the senior manager and those above.”

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