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Senate blames House of Reps for delayed passage of NFIU Bill

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 02/03/2018

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•Senator Chukwuka Utazi
•Senator Chukwuka Utazi

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti corruption, Senator Chukwuka Utazi of Enugu North, has blamed his House of Representatives counterpart, Akinloye Babajide, for the delayed passage of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill.

The Senate had recently fast-tracked passage of a bill seeking to separate the NFIU from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in response to the suspension of the country from the Egmont Group.

However, according to Utazi, the committees from both chambers have been unable to meet due to several reasons.

Reacting further on the development, Utazi said: “The expulsion has dire consequences on this country, our financial institutions cannot do anything. Our credit cards will no longer amount to anything, Nigeria will be degraded to a high risk nation. Even the corruption perception index we are complaining about is a child’s play to what we are going to face in few days to come.

“This Senate, being very responsive, passed this bill within a record period of eight working days because of its urgency, because of what it portends for this country if we do not do so. Now, the House of Reps also took time to pass it but now a conference committee has been constituted. I have been calling my colleague in the House of Reps to come for meeting.

“We called for meeting first and second time. Each time I call for this meeting, my counterpart in the House of Reps will always tell me that he is attending one meeting or the other. So, I am bringing this to public knowledge that the Senate is doing its job. If nothing happens by next week and the Egmont Group decides to expel Nigeria, it will not be as a result of the Senate not doing its duty.”

Reacting to this, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, promised to meet with the Speaker of the green chamber later in the day and “remind him of the decision we took so that he can direct your counterpart and that you can hold this meeting urgently and we transmit the bill to the president before the next Egmont meeting.”

 

Source News Express

Posted 02/03/2018 03:20:51 AM

 

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