Buhari Signs NFIU Bill into law
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit(NFIU) bill into law, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on Wednesday.
According to him, NFIU is the Nigerian arm of the global Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) which was before now domiciled within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as autonomous unit and operating in Africa. The law now domiciles it with the Central Bank of Nigeria
He said the NFIU seeks to comply with international standards on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferations and checking of suspicious transactions.
The establishment of the NFIU is based on the requirements of Recommendation 29 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards and Article 14 of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The NFIU was admitted into the Egmont Group of FIUs in 2007. The Egmont Group is the global body responsible for setting standards on best practices for FIUs and is made up of more than 131 FIUs from 131 jurisdictions. It was founded in 1995 to foster international collaboration in the exchange of intelligence by member states. It also supports and influences the work of FATF as it relates to the mandate of FIUs under FATF Recommendations 29 and 40. The NFIU, as a member of Egmont Group has reached out to other African FIUs by sponsoring and mentoring them to join the Egmont Group.
In response to the FATF recommendation and fulfillment of the UNCAC requirements, the NFIU was formally established in 2004 and became fully operational in 2005. The Unit has since then sought to develop standards and procedures for the receipt, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence to law enforcement agencies, perform onsite and off-site examination of financial institutions, enhance compliance with the legal and regulatory regimes on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in Nigeria as well as respond to the global trends by collaborating with other FIUs worldwide.
The NFIU largely draws its powers from the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) establishment Act, 2004. The core mandate of the NFIU as required by international standard is to serve as the “national center for the receipt and analysis of: (a) suspicious transaction reports; and (b) other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing, and for the dissemination of the results of the analysis to law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies