Following the lifting of Nigeria’s suspension from the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units last Wednesday, the country is now back as an active member and has been reconnected to the Egmont Secure Website (ESW).
This was disclosed by the Director, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Mr Francis Usani on Tuesday in Abuja at a pre-assessment training for Nigeria organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).
“I will like to use this opportunity to announce to you today that the selfless efforts you have all made towards the lifting of the Egmont suspension impose on the NFIU have yielded positive result. Nigeria is back as an active member of the Egmont Group of FIUs and we have been reconnected to the ESW,” he said.
Mr Usani noted that in the backdrop of the development, Nigeria would file an appeal to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to recommence the process of the country’s membership, which was kept on hold as a result of the suspension by the Egmont Group FIUs.
On how Nigeria was able to meet the demands of the Egmont, which led to the lifting of the suspension, Usani said signing the NFIU law by the Federal Government was not conclusive as the Egmont Group needed to review the law on its own.
“There was an onsite visit to NFIU to see our structure and see whether we are in existence. The report of the onsite visit were discussed and I made clarification where needed.
“They eventually considered that Nigeria had address their concerns which were originally the legal framework for the autonomy of the NFIU and the issue of confidentiality which the law has addressed.”
The NFIU boss maintained that the roles of the agency have been clearly defined and the misconception about its activities in relation to other anti-graft agencies is no longer an issue.
“As long as the NFIU remains the coordinating unit of anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, it will definitely engage all law enforcement agencies.”
Earlier, the Director General of GIABA, Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, Mr. Kimelabalou ABA, represented, commended the Nigeria government for enacting the NFIU act, 2018 and other institutions frameworks put in place to ensure the effective implementation of the FATF standards.