Senate, Reps agree to move NFIU to CBN

Senate, Reps agree to move NFIU to CBN

In the event of an expulsion, Nigeria would no longer benefit from financial intelligence shared by the 153 member countries, while the country's ability to recover stolen funds overseas would be hampered.

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 House of Representatives adopted the harmonised report of the conference committee from both chambers of the National Assembly yesterday, while the Senate is expected to do same today.

Also recall that 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.

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By that action and a similar adoption by the Senate, the NFIU bill stood passed.

NFIU is a central body responsible for receiving, requesting, analyzing and disseminating financial intelligence report and other information to law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies and other relevant authorities.

Nigeria will also be blacklisted in global finance operations and this could affect the use of credit and debit cards by Nigerians overseas.

The conference report was laid by the Committee Chairman, Chukwuma Utazi who said the positions of the two committees have been harmonized.

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"It is important that we consider the report tomorrow so that Nigeria will be out of the suspension and be counted among the comity of nations in the EGMONT Group, " he added.

It also provides that the NFIA Director from the Directorate Cadre in the Public Service of the Federation, shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Attorney-General of the Federation for a term of five years in the first instance and shall be eligible for re-appointment for another term of five years and no more.

He argued that if the issue of domiciliation had been resolved in favour of the EFCC as earlier recommended by the House, the NFIU could have benefited from the "policing powers of the EFCC" to do its job.

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

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