The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has forwarded to the National Assembly, revised versions of the Money Laundering Bill and Terrorism Prevention Bill already before the federal parliament.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, who presided over the chamber’s respective sessions on Thursday, read the cover letter accompanying the executive bills.
Buhari, in the letter dated 12th April, 2022, noted that the Ministry of Justice, which is supervised by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had made corrections to some of the proposals in the previous versions.
The President explained that the deficiencies in the country’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime (AML/CFT) called for the passage of the bills.
Buhari warned that the non-passage of the bills would pose a risk that might lead to the eventual blacklisting of Nigeria by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The letter read, “Pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill, 2022 and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“During the recent Mutual Evaluation carried out by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GABA) there were observed deficiencies in Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime (AML/CFT).
“Following the evaluation, the Ministry of Justice and other relevant stakeholders reviewed said deficiencies and drafted the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill, 2022 and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2022.
“Unless these deficiencies are addressed promptly by the National Assembly, in order to bring our legal regime in conformity with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, Nigeria will face the risk of a negative public statement blacklisting the country by FATF and this will lead to some negative consequences to our rapidly growing economy.”
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