Finance & Security Policies: NFIU assures state governors, consumers of robust partnership

*The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit assures the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the entire citizenry of a robust partnership in its fight against unwholesome financial transactions, while curbing corrupt practices in the economy

Isola Moses |  ConsumerConnect

In its effort at sanitising the country’s security and financial systems, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has assured the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) of a robust partnership.

The regulatory agency also pledged to Nigerians of its determination to fight unwholesome financial transactions and curb corrupt practices.

Mr. Ahmed Dikko, Chief Media Analyst of NFIU, noted this in a statement issued at the weekend, in Abuja, FCT.

Dikko stated that Mr. Modibbo Hamman-Tukur, Director and Chief Executive Officer NFIU, assured the stakeholders in the ecosystem while reacting to a statement  Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Chairman of NGF, earlier issued on the recent Guidelines on cash withdrawal limits from all government accounts in the country.

The NGF, which pledged it support to attainment of the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), also constituted a six-man committee.

The committee comprises the Governors of Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Borno, Plateau and Jigawa States, to be led by Governor (Prof.) Charles Soludo of Anambra State, “to address the anomalies in the country’s monetary management and financial system.”

We will partner and enlighten Governors’ Committee, says NFIU

Hamman-Tukur, in the statement, said: “First of all, we are ready to partner with the 6-man committee they (governors) set up. We will enlighten them.

“Second, we acted within our functions and the Law.”

The NFIU Chief also said: “We issued the Guidelines to control the barrage of investigations that we saw coming.

“Our Guidelines were meant to help the governors not to fight them or any public servant.

“We have reached a stage that if we allow the present scenario to continue, all public institutions will drift into ‘structured cash withdrawals’ of certain amounts of money which by law, standards and best practices ‘must’ be investigated continuously, which is neither desirable nor reasonable.”

He further stated that progressive communities must move on by accommodating changes and adjusting to new developments.

Hamman-Tukur as well recalled that the last time the regulatory agency issued the Local Government Guidelines, it was taken to court; but it won the case.

He further explained “more importantly we need to understand that in recent past United States FIU and United Kingdom FIU penalised Nigerian Banks with fines of millions of US Dollars due to non-compliance.

“Internally, non-compliance with sections cited in the recent Guidelines comes with heavy penalties on financial institutions.

“We did, on gentlemanly pretext, avoid until this moment putting a fine to financial institutions expecting, gradual learning and adjustments.

“But to eternally guarantee this kind gesture is to automatically keep abusing our laws.”

He said: “We want every stakeholder to appreciate that we cooperated for too far and long.

“We held deep breath while defending these deficiencies internationally, just to continue to remain in the International pay points and competing with others.”

Hamman-Tukur also stated: “Finally, we also clearly stated in the preceding Advisory that the entire financial system suffered excess liquidity and liquidity ratio infringements, which put hedging pressure of demand for foreign currency and gradually destroying the value of the Naira

“And above all creating wide room for money laundering and terrorism affecting significantly the rural populace on top of general inflation in the open market place.

“We are in support of working together to stop these challenges and in most progressive manner,” the statement further quoted Hamman-Tukur explaining.

ConsumerConnect had reported the NGF, in a communique, has noted that the governors are favourable to the overall objectives of the Naira redesign policy in view of the extant economic and security challenges.

The Forum, however, suggested that the policy did not consider the “huge challenges that remain problematic to the Nigerian populace.”

The state governors affirmed their commitment to working closely with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider peculiarities of states to ensure financial inclusion and underserved communities.

They equally pledged to collaborate with the CBN and NFIU in a move to review the monetary policy to ameliorate areas of concern, particularly poorest households and vulnerable citizens at the grassroots in Nigeria.

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