13th May, 2022
The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) commends President Muhammadu Buhari over the expedite assent to three anti-corruption bills passed last week by the National Assembly; and calls for swift enforcement of the signed laws.
These bills which would provide the needed legal framework in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing/proliferation in the country is an important step in the nation’s efforts to rid the country of corruption and acts of terrorism.
Signed are the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022.
These laws would provide adequate punitive and preventive measures to deter offenders, while checking abuses and compromises that the repealed Acts could not prevent.
The Center also, totally aligns its thought with Mr. President that, “The signing of these bills into law today not only strengthens the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework in the Country, but addresses the deficiencies identified in Nigeria’s 2nd round of Mutual Evaluation as assessed by Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa on compliance with the Financial Action Task Force global standards.”
By these laws, the anti-graft agencies, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in particular is provided with comprehensive legal and institutional framework to operate as the “Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering,” which would enhance its operations.
Also, the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) law which mandate the creation of dedicated accounts for the proceeds of crime and other confiscated assets will enhance transparency and accountability in the system.
There is therefore the need for synergy and unification of strategies by the anti-graft agencies for these laws to be effective in the long-run; and the Center seize this opportunity to call for expedite enforcement by relevant agencies.
Government must create the right environment for implementation and enforcement of these laws, and this is a clarion call to stakeholders including the media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the general public to support the anti-graft agencies in efforts to rid the country of all forms of corruption and fight insecurity.
Importantly too, we call for proper monitoring of the implementation of these laws, which would allow for proper checks and appraisals of the enforcing agencies.
The Center is especially pleased that our effort, working assiduously to see to the passage of these bills has finally been rewarded with assent by the President. We remain resolute in our commitment to promote best practices in the nation’s public sector, and also working to strengthen anti-corruption environment in the country.
CeFTIW Public Affairs