OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Tuesday began moves to amend the 29 years old Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act as a bill to that effect was passed for second reading.

The bill co-sponsored by Senators Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) and Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West) seeks to update and strengthen the extant Act to effectively address some challenges being faced in Nigeria’s finance sector in Nigeria.

Reading the lead principles of the bill, Senator Sani cited countries like South Africa and Egypt whose laws regulating banking and other financial institution were updated regularly.

The objectives of the bill include: “Update the laws governing Banks, Financial Institutions and Financial Services Companies; enhance efficiency in the process of obtaining/granting banking licenses;

“Accurately delineate the regulatory functions of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the financial services industry; update and incorporate the laws for enacting, licensing and regulation of micro-finance banks;

“Regulate the activities of financial technology companies (FINTECHs) and update commensurate penalties for regulatory breaches in the financial services sector.”

If passed, he said the bill will strengthen the legal framework for the regulation of banks to prevent distress especially in turbulent periods like COVID-19 so that the country can adequately prepare and deal with potential post COVID-19 challenges in the banking sector.

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