Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a banking debtor asset surveillance law, the Asset Management Act 2019, which amended a 2010 act.
The new Nigerian asset surveillance law gives Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) the power to obtain or seize any computer or other electronic or mechanical devices of debtors with to find out the location of funds withheld by the debtor.
Speaking about the new Asset Management Act 2019, senior special assistant to the President on the National Assembly, Senate Ita Enang told the media that, “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.”
After the implementation of the act, the authorities will have the power to obtain information with regards to private accounts along with all banks, financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution.
It will also become mandatory for AMCON to provide the government and other involved agencies with a list of non-cooperative debtors and then impose an obligation on them.
The act also states that upon dissolution of the corporation, all unresolved eligible bank assets held by the corporation shall be transferred to the authorities or a third party asset management company or other entity specified by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The corporation’s existing staff shall also be either re-deployed or absorbed into the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The act also calls for a part-time chairman who shall be a deputy governor in the Central Bank of Nigeria. He is to be appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Apart from the Nigerian asset surveillance law, The other laws passed by the president were Defense Intelligence Agency Civilian Pensions Board (Establishment) Act, 2019 and the National Biosafety Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019.