18 September 2017

Nigeria: Egmont Group Further Warns Govt On Nfiu's Suspension

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has reiterated the earlier threat of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units to suspend Nigeria from the group if it fails to meet its commitment to qualify for membership.

The latest warning to the Federal Government coming from FATF is to the effect that the body said failure to implement the Egmont Group requirement will have serious consequences as it will begin by suspending its planned high level mission visit on November 20th-21st, 2017 to determine whether Nigeria has met the FATF standard.

According to a press statement issued by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated that the federal government is not resting on its oars to do the needful to attain the FATF demand on the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to qualify it for membership under the Egmont Group of FIUs.

"To achieve this, then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN had constituted a powerful adhoc-committee chaired by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, the chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes with specific terms of reference to ensure the nation meets the requirements as demanded by Egmont Group and FATF.

"It has since concluded its work and submitted its report to the presidency.

"However, in a recent letter by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) addressed to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN and signed by its President, Santiago Otamendi, it expressed concern of Nigeria's repeated failures of its Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which may still lead to its suspension.

"The purpose of its visit in November is to confirm FG's level of commitment to its objectives, especially its standards.

"FATF secretariat in France through a letter dated 29 August 2017 titled, 'Suspension of Egmont Group membership status of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit', also affirmed that the visit will provide FATF member nations the assurance that Nigeria is ready to undergo a successful mutual evaluation within three years.

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