The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered its staff members to disclose Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and relatives under its employment in the last nine years.
This was stated in a memo signed by Christian Eze, the CBN’s deputy director of human resources department, as reported by Premium Times.
The memo asked the CBN staff who joined the services of the Bank from 2014 to date and have relationships with Politically Exposed Persons to also disclose such by completing a form.
According to the CBN, a close relative is a spouse, biological and adopted children, brother, sister, mother, father and half-siblings.
A PEP is an individual entrusted with prominent public functions in the country or foreign countries, international rganization and people or entities associated with them.
PEPs include heads of state or government, political appointees to heads of state or government, State governors, senior politicians, legislators (Federal, State and Local Government), Local Government chairmen, important political party officials, family members or close associates of PEPs, senior government, judicial or military officials, members of royal families, senior executives of State-owned corporations, the CBN clarified.
The apex bank noted in the memo, the management’s restriction on the employment of close relatives of serving staff and board members.
“Consequently, all staff are obliged to make declarations of close relatives in the employment of the Bank”, the memo reads.
According to the memo, all submissions should be made on or before 12 noon, Friday, November 10, 2023, while
non-disclosure or false declaration shall attract sanctions.
Uju Ogubunka, former registrar of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said the CBN is trying to be impartial in whatever it is doing.
He said, “It is more like trying to ensure that whatever they do, they are doing it without bias and to do it within the confines and laws of the CBN.”
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For Ayodele Akinwunmi, relationship manager, corporate banking at FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, “this is common in the financial industry. And for the Central Bank, it is important so that they can continue to maintain political neutrality.”
The online report noted that the CBN had come under fire during President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime for secretly recruiting dozens of family members of top government officials, including children of ministers, serving and former government functionaries and a nephew of Buhari.
It was said that the recruitment was done without advertising the vacancies to allow other Nigerians to apply, as required by law. It was also done in flagrant disregard of Nigeria’s federal character law.
In July 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, appointed Jim Obazee, a former chief executive officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, as a Special Investigator to probe the activities of the CBN and other related entities.