Reps pass Nigerian financial intelligence centre bill

The House of Representatives, Wednesday, passed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Centre, NFIC, Bill into law.

The bill, which was earlier passed by the Senate, seeks to establish the Centre to perform the traditional function of collecting, analyzing and disseminating financial intelligence to the law enforcement agencies and other authorized entities.

It is designed to provide a sustainable and credible legal framework for the Financial Intelligence Center-FIC, Nigeria.

It also seeks to provide the FIC with operational independence and autonomy, and greater ability to provide financial intelligence to all relevant competent authorities in order to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures.

The NFIC Bill had suffered a setback during the third reading as some members of the House opposed it.

The lawmakers had claimed they did not get copies of the report of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial crimes.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba, while reacting to the passage of the bill, said it was another show of the commitment of the present House leadership of the lower legislative chamber in the war against money laundering, terrorism and corruption in Nigeria.

He praised his colleagues for supporting the bill and called for a competent person to head the Centre, after it is signed into law by the president.

The Executive Director, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption, MIIVOC, Walter Duru also commended the lawmakers for the passage of the bill and challenged them to pass other related anti-corruption bills.

He described the proposed NFIC as central to the success of the war against money laundering and terrorist financing in Nigeria.

Mr. Duru reiterated the commitment of the Initiative to sustaining the war against corruption in Nigeria, which he described as Nigeria’s major challenge.

He said, “MIIVOC shall never relent in this struggle. Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest and most formidable problem. We also urge the lawmakers to make haste to pass other related anti-corruption related bills, especially, the Proceeds of Crime, Whistle Blowers Protection and Mutual Legal Assistance Bills.”

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