Tuesday, 24 September, 2019


Nigeria's parliament passes anti-money laundering law

House of Reps probes missing $202m unaccounted for by NIA Nigeria's parliament passes anti-money laundering law
Melba Vasquez | 08 March, 2018, 02:38

Receiving the report, submitted by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, said there was need to expedite action on it.

The Senate on Wednesday approved the conference committee report on a bill that will grant autonomy to Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

A meeting between Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the two lawmakers to meet and conclude work on the conference report.

To stop Nigeria's expulsion from the EGMONT Group, the Senate has passed the Report of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill awaiting assention by the executive.

This followed the consideration of clauses of the harmonised report by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption.

The EFCC act had designated the commission as the destination for the NFIU, a position the Egmont group rejected because it would compromise the utmost secrecy under which financial intelligence units operate globally. This means Nigerians will be unable to carry out foreign transactions.

The EGMONT Group is a network of 152-member countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial information.

The bill also provides that the head of the unit should be called a director and that the appointment of the director should be subject to Senate confirmation.

Nigeria risked being expelled by the Egmont Group if the bill wasn't passed earlier.

Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm since it was suspended by the Egmont group in July 2017, following its failure to pass a law guaranteeing the independence of the financial intelligence unit. I hope that by passing the conference report, they will have a second view and re-admit us.

"It is important that we see it being practiced - this is very important".

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