It was soothing news for the monetary policy team yesterday, as the Senate finally passed the bill to repeal the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) CAP B3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to pave the way for re-enactment of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) CAP B3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The passage, on Wednesday after a clause by clause consideration by the lawmakers, was sequel to the public hearing by the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions 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).
Others at the hearing were the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance & Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), and the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFE).
Besides strengthening the Nigerian financial system, the bill, sponsored by Senator Uba Sani (Kaduna Central) and co-sponsored by Senator Betty Jocelyn Apiafi (Rivers West), seeks to regulate banking and businesses of other financial institutions by prohibiting the carrying on of such businesses in the country, except under licence, and by a company incorporated in Nigeria.
The piece of legislation also made provision for proper licensing, supervision and revocation of licences of affected institutions by the apex bank. However, the piece of law has to be similarly passed by the House of Representatives, after which the reports will be harmonised for onward transmission to the President for assent.