The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units has lifted its suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, during its 25th plenary in Sidney, Australia, according to the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes.
The Egmont Group is a global body of 155 financial intelligence units across the world which facilitates the exchange of financial intelligence, expertise and capability. The intelligence units combat money laundering, terrorism financing and serious financial crime.
The group had suspended NFIU, an arm of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, after its plenary in Macao, China, on July 2, 2017.
The group suspended Nigeria as a result of its lack of a legal framework and autonomy.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, Mr Kayode Oladele, who confirmed the lifting of the suspension, on Wednesday, said it was announced at the ongoing plenary in Australia, after Nigerian authorities fulfilled the requirements.
He said, “After the suspension was announced in 2017, Nigeria’s membership of the Financial Action Task Forces was also suspended. Consequently, we introduced the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency bill in the National Assembly which was passed. After the passage, we had a conference committee meeting which worked on the grey areas.
“We now have the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit law, which means that we have complied with the international directives and given a legal framework to the NFIU. After the submission of the law to the Egmont Group, a fact-finding mission was sent to Nigeria earlier in this September 2018 and they paid an unscheduled visit to the NFIU office in Abuja.
“They inspected all our facilities and they were impressed. So, at the meeting on Wednesday in Sydney, the report was tabled before the plenary and the suspension was lifted.”
According to a release on Egmont’s website, the group said it would continue to support the efforts of its international partners and other stakeholders to give effect to the resolutions and statements by the United Nations Security Council, the G20 Finance Ministers, and the Financial Action Task Force.