President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday transmitted the Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Bills to the National Assembly for expeditious consideration and passage.
The Bills were accompanied with separate letters to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
In the letters dated, April 12, 2022, President Buhari said the request for the passage of both Bills was in line with the provisions of Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Both Lawan and Gbajabiamila read the letters during plenary yesterday.
According to the President, the deficiencies in the country’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime (AML/CFT) makes it imperative for the passage of both Bills.
The letter to Lawan reads: “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 the 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 to conform 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.
“In light of the above, the Federal Ministry of Justice reviewed the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill currently pending before the National Assembly and have come up with revised versions of the Bills, incorporating the resolutions to the deficiencies pointed out in the Mutual Evaluation Report, thereby bringing Nigeria’s AML/CFT legal regime in conformity with the FATF recommendations.”