The Egmont group of Financial Intelligent Units has reversed the suspension of Nigeria’s Financial Intelligent Unit.
The suspension was lifted during the 25th Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units’ plenary currently taking in place in Sydney Australia. The FIUs plenary began on the 24th of September and will terminate on the 27th September, 2018 and has an estimated 400 delegates including heads of FIUs in attendance.
The Egmont Group, an informal coalition of Financial Intelligence Units from 155 countries around the world is a network that secures exchange of expertise and financial intelligence with capability to fight money laundering, financial crimes and terrorism funding.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, Rep. Kayode Oladele, has described the decision by the Egmont Group as welcome development.
He said, “It means we are back as a member of the group of Financial Intelligence Units and can share information with our counterparts across the globe. Beyond that, you’ll recall also that the processing of our application for the membership of the Financial Action Task Force FATF) was suspended hence the high- powered delegation from the FATF that was supposed to come to Nigeria could not come.”
According to him, with the suspension being lifted Nigeria can now continue with its application for membership of the FATF can now continue.
” The Plenary of the FATF is coming up in France I think between 13th to 19th of October, now the Nigerian membership of the FATF will be tabled before the FATF plenary.
“Then the visit of the high- level delegation from the FATF will ow be done sometime before the end of the year or early next year, depending on the meeting at the plenary in France”, he said.
Recall that Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit ( an arm of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC at the time) was suspended from the Egmont group of Financial Intelligence Units on July 5,2017.
Paramount amongst the reason for the suspension was the need for the Unit to be independent .
This was eventually done with the amendment of section 1(2)(C) of the EFCC Establishment Act which removed the Financial Intelligence Unit from the EFCC .
The unit was re-christened the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit ( NFIU) and domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.