The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), has reacted to comments credited to Nigeria Governors’ Forum on the recent directives regarding cash withdrawals.
A commute at the end of the NGF meeting said the Governors resolved to “Collaborate with the CBN and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in advancing genuine objectives within the confines of our laws, noting that the recent NFIU Advisory and Guidelines on cash transactions were simply outside the NFIU’s legal remit and mandate.
When approached by newsmen to respond to Statement issued by Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum regarding the guidelines on cash withdrawals from all government accounts, the Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Modibbo Hamman Tukur said “first of all we are ready to partner with the 6-man committee they set up. We will enlighten them.
“Secondly we acted within our functions and the law. 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 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.
We feel communities must move on by accommodating changes and adjusting to new developments.
“Last time we issued the Local government Guidelines we were taken to court but we won the case.
“But more importantly we need to understand that in recent past United States FIU and United Kingdom FIU penalized Nigerian Banks with fines of millions of U.S 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.
“We want every stake holder 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 ponits and competing with others.
“Finally, we also clearly stated in the precceding 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.”