Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Senate Recieves Report To Grant NFIU Autonomy

Senate Recieves Report To Grant NFIU Autonomy

At the Senate yesterday, the report of the conference committee of both chambers was laid by Senator Chukwuka Utazi.

The group had threatened to expel Nigeria permanently by March 11 if the Nigerian government failed to grant the unit the autonomy required to become its member.

While Oladele proposed that it should be domiciled within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, it was eventually agreed that the Central Bank of Nigeria should be given the responsibility.

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to make Nigeria's Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), now under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), totally independent.

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Ekweremadu commended Utazi and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Kayode Oladele, for putting aside their differences and presenting a harmonised report.

Before now, it was gathered that Egmont suspended NFIU because EFCC, was allegedly leaking sensitive information to the media. The report is expected to be considered today.

According to him, the passage was to ensure that Nigeria's suspension from EGMONT group does not translate to expulsion.

The senate had passed the bill in July, but it was put on hold at the house of representatives.

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, after the passage, urged the executive to speedily assent to the bill to forestall Nigeria's expulsion from the Egmont Group.

The bill if assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari will make the NFIU independent of EFCC within which it is now domiciled.

The passage of the legislation is key to Nigeria's membership of the Egmont Group, an informal network of 156 financial intelligence units (FIUs).

"Many of you will remember that late previous year, the Senate raised the alarm over Nigeria's suspension from the EGMONT Group - based on the lack of independence of the NFIU as now established".

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The Egmont Group insisted that failure to make Nigeria's unit legally independent would have subjected financial transactions from Nigeria, including funds transfers and credit cards, to special controls, banking sources said.

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