Why we passed NFIU bill - Saraki

Why we passed NFIU bill - Saraki

The National Assembly yesterday passed into law the bill aimed at establishing the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in line with global best practices.

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

Speaking after the bill was passed, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over plenary, said the enactment of the bill will facilitate the country's readmission into the EGMONT Group.

DAILY POST reports that the EGMONT Group is a network of 152 member countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial information.

It seeks to grant financial and operational autonomy to the agency and empowers it as the central body in Nigeria to be responsible for "requesting, receiving, analysing and disseminating financial and other information to all law enforcement and security agencies and other relevant authorities".

For the House, The Eagle Online gathered that it would be the first issue for consideration this morning.

Ekweremadu commended Senate and the House of Representatives Committees on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption for the report which would ensure Nigeria is not expelled from the EGMONT Group.

The group had demanded autonomy for the NFIU as a condition for the suspension to be lifted, failing which Nigeria would be expelled in March 2018.

It will be recalled that Nigeria is now serving a suspension from Egmont Group, a body of 154 financial intelligence units, FIUs across the world, which provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Findings showed that the conference committee adopted the recommendation of the Senate, which removed the NFIU from the anti-graft agency and domiciled it in the CBN.

It also advised that the NFIU could be domiciled in any government agency of choice, including the EFCC, so long as it operated as an independent entity.

Utazi had raised a point of order, accusing the House of non-cooperation.

The Senate President urged the President to immediately sign the bill into law to prevent Nigeria's expulsion from the group.

The lawmakers eventually met on Monday evening and came up with the report.