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Published On: Thu, Aug 8th, 2019

Buhari signs AMCON bill, 2 others into law

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By Lawrence Olaoye

President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019 and Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang said Buhari also signed the National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019.
The presidential aide in a statement made available to newsmen said the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019 further amends the 2010 Act by increasing the powers of the Commission in enforcement of recovery of debt from persons owing legacy banks or seizure of property subject of loan obligation.
In particular, it empowers AMCON to place any bank account or any other account comparable to a bank account of a debtor of an eligible financial institution under surveillance,
According to him, the new Management Corporation of Nigeria Act gives AMCON powers to obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor, andobtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution, banking secrecy, and the protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the Corporation under this section.’’
He said the law now makes it mandatory for AMCON to, despite the convention of confidentiality of banking, business and contracting relations to: “furnish the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a list of recalcitrant debtors and then impose an obligation to seek clearance on the Federal Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies when the Federal Government, any Ministry, Department or Agency proposes to contract with, or pay, debtors on the list furnished by the Corporation.’’
The Act provides for ‘’a part-time Chairman who shall be a Deputy Governor in the Central Bank of Nigeria to be nominated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.’’
2. Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019. This Act establishes an Agency charged with the responsibility for administering pension scheme for civilian personnel of the Agency.
This covers pension on voluntary retirement and benefit if death occurs in course of duty as well as pension if in normal course of retirement.
Other laws signed are the National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019 which amends the National Biosafety Management Agency Act No. 20, 2015 to enlarge the scope of application of the act by including the emerging aspects of modern biotechnology and biosecurity in Nigeria with a view to preventing any adverse effect to human health and environment.
The Amendment empowers the Agency to put in place measures to ensure Bio-Security.
The three Acts have come into effect as laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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