The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to make Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), currently under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), totally independent.
The bill was passed after a conference committee of both houses of the National Assembly sat to harmonise differences in their reports.
The report was laid and considered at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill if assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari will make the NFIU independent of EFCC within which it is currently domiciled.
The NFIU was in July 2017 suspended by the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units for allegedly not being independent.
The group reportedly demanded autonomy for the NFIU as a condition for the suspension to be lifted.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, after the passage, urged the executive to speedily assent to the bill to forestall Nigeria’s expulsion from the Egmont Group.
“The good thing is that clearly after the report, this report was now passed quickly, at least that was achieved. I want to thank the members of the committees in the fight against corruption because our suspension from the EGMONT group has a lot of ramifications.
“I hope that by this conference report, they (Egmont) will have a second view and readmit us into the process. I hope on the part of the executive, they will quickly assent and ensure the independence of the Financial Intelligence Unit goes beyond signing into law.”
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