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Egmont: Onus now on Buhari to sign NFIU Bill into law, save Nigeria financial system

Chances that Nigerian financial system will still remain within the comity of nations by retaining its position and relevance within the Egmont Group can now be feasible if President Muhammdu Buhari goes ahead to assent the bill establishing the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) as an independent entity, recently passed by the National Assembly.

However, remaining a member of the Egmont Group will depend on President Buhari’s readiness to assent to the bill on or before Sunday, March 11, the day which the international body had set to delist Nigeria should it not separate the unit from the EFCC by an enabling law.

Egmont Group is the global body of financial intelligence units, will make a final pronouncement on the fate of Nigeria as a member of the body. Nigeria is currently on suspension from the group over the lack of autonomy for the NFIU.

A threat of permanent expulsion from the Egmont Group is hanging over Nigeria if by March 11, the NFIU has not been granted full financial and operational autonomy. The most important component of the new bill is the separation of the NFIU from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), where it had existed and operated in the past 11 years.

National Assembly had earlier in the week, endorsed the Conference Committee report of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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