President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law, creating a body that will henceforth monitor illegal money transfers and money laundering.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (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 an autonomous unit and operating in the African Region.
“The Act creates NFIU to be domiciled in the Central Bank but to work autonomously and independently.
“The Act is intended to allow this agency to collate and disseminate financial intelligence to security agencies, intelligent agencies and other agencies which are entitled to receive it.
“And what they collate is for instance transfers of money where money comes from, where it goes and other suspicious transactions including transaction relating to terrorism financing.
“What the law also does is to amend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, the Money Laundering Prohibition Act and the Terrorism Prevention Act so that all these functions of financial intelligence which were performed by each of these agencies or which allowed the provision of money for illegal purposes or laundering would now be handled by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit independently.
“And when they collate it they make it available to enforcement and enforcing institutions and that is the essence of the Act and it is available for every person, it has now become law,’’ he said.
Enang said that the NFIU sought to comply with international standards on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Enang emphasized that with the signing of the new Act, the NFIU would now be excised from the EFCC.