President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Naira Policy: Why Nigeria stops cash withdrawals from all public accounts –NFIU

*The Federal Government of Nigeria explains why it is activating the stoppage of cash withdrawals from all public accounts of the West African country with immediate effect

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government is set to activate the stoppage of cash withdrawals from all public accounts with immediate effect.

In lieu of cash withdrawals, public officers are directed to open domiciliary accounts in foreign and local currencies ahead of the commencement of the new monetary policy, in view of the recent new Naira withdrawal policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

A section of the Federal Secretariat, in Abuja, FCT

Ahmed Dikko, Chief Media Analyst at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in a statement issued Tuesday, December 20, 2022, said Modibbo Hamman Tukur, Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the regulatory agency, gave the new directive at a parley with Prof. Mahmud Yakubu,  Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Abuja, FCT.

The NFIU stated the introduction of the new policy became necessary in view of the consistent devaluation of the Naira and the introduction of a new Naira policy, which automatically activates Section 1 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act  in Nigeria.

Money Laundering Prohibition Act and Protection of Innocent Public Officials

Tukur also said that the action is being activated, following the observation that most cash withdrawals from government accounts, including payments for estacode for public officials, are often in excess of the cash withdrawal limits provided by the Money Laundering Act.

The Director/CEO of NFIU further noted that the latest development in respect of the cash withdrawal policy exposes innocent public officials to being liable to imprisonment.

The NFIU, Tukur stated, is already developing an advisory to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), State Governors and Local Government (LG) Chairmen across the country to direct all public servants in their employ to open domiciliary and Naira accounts ahead of the commencement of the policy, which becomes compulsory by law.

The NFIU Chief said the State Governors and Local Council Chairmen would also need to organise training for market men and women on how to use Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and Point of Sale (PoS) services.

Tukur, however, dismissed as false claims rumours making the rounds that the NFIU would block all Federal Government’s accounts from January 1, 2023.

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