The Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Modibbo Tukur has reiterated that the March 1, 2023, deadline for ban of cash withdrawals from accounts belonging to the Federal Government, all its agencies, and also state and local governments remains.
This is even as he has agreed that the unit will work with the six-man committee set up by the governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), regarding the guidelines on cash withdrawals from all government accounts.
Recall the NFIU had said effective from that any government official that withdraws cash from public accounts risks investigation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the NFIU, depending on the gravity of the situation.
According to a statement by unit’s Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, he NFIU boss is quoted as saying, “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’ve 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 stakeholder to appreciate that we cooperated for far too 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 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.”