BY OBUTE JAMES
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law 3 bills passed by the 8th National Assembly into law.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja said Buhsri assented to the National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019, with a view to preventing any adverse effect to human health and environment in the country.
He said the bill amended 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 the country.
According to him, the Amendment empowered the Agency to put in place measures to ensure Bio-Security across the country.
Enang said that the president signed into law the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment) Act, 2019 and Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019.
According to him, the Asset Management Act 2019 further amended the 2010 Act by increasing the powers of the commission in enforcement of recovery of debts 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.
”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.
“And to obtain 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.
“The protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the Corporation under this section,’’ he said.
According to Enang, 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.
Enang said the Act provided 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.’’
The Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019, according to Enang ”the Act establishes an Agency charged with the responsibility for administering pension scheme for civilian personnel of the Agency.