Bill To Allow Public Officers Operate Foreign Bank Accounts Scales Second Reading In House Of Reps

nigeria_reps_in_first_sessionA bill seeking to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal of 2004 passed through its second reading at the House of Representatives in Abuja on Wednesday.

The bill is to make accessible assets and liabilities declared by public office holders.

The amendment prescribes that any past or serving public office holder whose assets were declared with the Code of Conduct Bureau were made available for inspection at such terms and condition stipulated.

It also seeks to make the leave (permission) of the Bureau necessary for a public officer to maintain or operate a bank account outside Nigeria.

The bill also seeks to delete proviso to Section 18(1) by enacting an amended section 18(2).

The bill was co-sponsored by Emmanuel Jime (PDP-Benue), Udoh Ibeji (PDP-Abia) and Faparusi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti).

Leading debate on the general principle of the bill, Jime the lead sponsor, said that the bill, if passed, would encourage and ensure transparency and accountability by public office holders.

“If this bill is eventually passed into law, it will establish the legal framework which has been missing in the provisions of Section 3(c) of the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act.

“It will also offer a procedure for records of assets and liabilities declaration for public office holders to become more public and accessible to all members of the Nigerian public,” he said.

“As legislators we owe it to our constituents and we owe it to posterity the duty of passing proactive legislations.

“Let us not forget that as part of the 2011 and 2013 legislative agenda of this House, our responsibility is to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation.

“Therefore, our legislative intervention is supposed to give priority to high impact, people centred legislation linked to service delivery and the ultimate attainment of the Millennium Development Goals”, he said.

Jime cited countries in Latin America, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile among others that had created electronic platforms for publishing information about government officials personal asserts.

He urged members to support the second reading of the bill to curb corruption and encourage more transparency and accountability in governance.

Supporting the bill, Rep. Ibeji and Rep. Bamidele argued that the amendment sought would enhance the job of the bureau as the “watchdog” of public officers.

Rep. Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta) and Rep. Aishatu Ahmed (PDP-Adamawa) also supported the proposed legislation.

The bill was not opposed and the Speaker, Rep. Aminu Tambuwal, referred it to the Committee on Anti- Corruption and National Ethics and Values for more legislative input.

Meanwhile, the House has approved the Nigerian Communication Commission 2013 budget of N 61.3 billon.

The approval was sequel to the consideration of the report of the House Committee on Communications.

The budget is made up of N14 billion recurrent vote and seven billion naira for transfer to the Federation Account.

The capital and special projects have a budget of N19 billion, while an additional five billion naira was expected to be transferred from reserves.

Transfer to the universal Service fund was allocated N 10 billion. (NAN)

1 Comment

  • Well done our respected and honourable law makers. Instead of making laws that will create employment and reduce poverty in the land, the most important thing is to create a channel for public officers for continued looting of the nation’s treasury. The simple reason is that EFCC do not allow you keep your loot in Nigerian banks. One day Nigeria will be free.

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