Sola Ojo, Kaduna
With the Amendment of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill, (BOFIA) 2020, a stable financial sector that will lift Nigeria to a new height in a Post-COVID-19 world is now in place, Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani has said.
Senator Sani, who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, while making the declaration at the Public hearing on the Bill, said a stable and strengthened banking sector would refocus its activities and concentrate on providing credit access to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to help grow the economy.
The senator added that a properly regulated electronic transactions system would enhance operational efficiency and boost customers confidence in the banking sector, maintaining that the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act was long overdue for review and amendment.
‘A sanctions regime that is effectively implemented will help check sharp practices in the banking sector and prevent future distress.
‘I commend the Senate President for his strong leadership which has helped in stabilising the Senate and making it responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians,’ the senator said.
‘The challenge of COVID-19 has further worsened the economic situation of countries and Nigeria must not take chances, we must remain vigilant and keep our banking sector under close watch”, he added.
The public hearing on the bill jointly sponsored by Senators Uba Sani and Betty Apiafi was held alongside the Electronic Transactions Bill (2020) sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, attended by representatives of relevant ministries, heads of financial institutions, key players in the banking and financial sectors, legal and financial experts, citizens and labour groups and members of the National Assembly was declared open by the Senate President Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Ajayi Boroffice.
The Banks and Other Financial Institutions (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill (2020) seeks to update the laws governing Banks, Financial Institutions and Financial Services; enhance efficiency in the process of obtaining and/or granting of banking licenses; impose stiffer penalties for regulatory breaches in the financial services industry and also regulate the activities of Financial Technology Companies (FINTECHs).