Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 20 July 2017 | 1,205 times
The Senate has resolved to pass a law to establish a substantive and autonomous Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), following the suspension of Nigeria from the EGMONT Group.
It also called on the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Interior, during the plenary on Wednesday, to work to ensure that Nigeria’s suspension is immediately reversed and that all the conditions set by the EGMONT Group are met to re-admit and improve Nigeria’s standing within the Group.
The EGMONT Group is a network of 152 member countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial investigations that deal with money laundering, terrorism financing, proliferation of arms, corruption, financial and economic crimes.
In the event of an eventual expulsion — following its current suspension — Nigeria will no longer be able to benefit from the financial intelligence shared by the other 152 member countries of the group, which includes the United States and the United Kingdom. This will significantly hamper its abilities to recover stolen funds that are stashed abroad.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while ruling on the matter, sated that separating the NFIU from the EFCC will show that we are serious about this anti-corruption fight. He further called on the Senate to begin the process of enacting the law.
“We must make sure that the suspension is lifted. The earlier we get it lifted the better it is for our image and the sooner we can restore our standing internationally,” Saraki added.
Senator Foster Ogala of Bayelsa West in his contribution, stated that “the expulsion of Nigeria from the UN-backed EGMONT Group would spell doom for Nigeria,” while also urging the Senate to initiate the passage of the NFIU Establishment Act in order to ensure that it contributes its own significant quota to fighting corruption in Nigeria.”
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