OrderPaperToday – The Senate has assured that it will pass all obsolete legislations brought before it.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020 (BOFI ACT) according to a statement from the Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Friday.
The now repealed 29 year old law was passed for third reading by the Senate on the 22nd of July and sponsored by Senators Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna) and Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers).
Primarily, the bill will regulate banking and businesses of financial institutions such that unregistered businesses will be prohibited.
Activities of Financial Technology companies (FINTECH) will be regulated with inclusion of commensurate penalties on regulatory breaches.
The senate in a statement by its Spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, on Saturday expressed satisfaction with the assent.
Basiru said: “The work which has gone into the passage of this bill, like some previously assented to by Mr. President, underscores the determination of the 9th Assembly to focus on the path of economic growth and development of our country.
“By this law, banks and financial institutions will be able to offer productive sectors of the economy, quality banking and financial services as well as ensure recovery of non performing loans.”
He cited other bills passed by Senate which he noted have direct relevance to the resuscitation of the national economy.
They are the Petroleum Profit Tax Act; CAMA Act; Finance Act; Police Act; Deep Offshore and Profit Sharing Contract Act etc.
He added that the Senate under the leadership of Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan “is ever resolved to work tirelessly and turn around our moribund laws to ensuring that they are vibrant and are in consonance with modern day economic reality.”
In Shehu’s statement, the new act will “increase the appetite of banks and other financial institutions to channel much needed credit to the real sector to support economic recovery and promote sustainable growth.”
As a result, a credit tribunal will be introduced “to improve loan recovery and address the incidence of high non-performing loans within the financial system,” which, he added, had been a key deterrent to lending by financial institutions.
“The Act not only strengthened the regulatory and supervisory framework for the financial industry, but also provided additional tools for managing failing institutions and systemic distress to preserve financial stability, amongst others.”
He also informed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would hold structured engagements with stakeholders across various sectors of the economy on critical aspects of the Act in the coming months.