January 21, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has faulted the recent directive by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), directing banks from executing demands for cash withdrawals from all public accounts.
NFIU, on January 5, directed banks in the country to stop executing demands for cash from public accounts, as well as payment of estacodes and travelling allowances, effective March 1, 2023.
Its Director and Chief Executive Officer, Haman Tukur, had said the ban was meant to halt the indiscriminate manner in which cash was being taken out of public accounts without regard for the extant provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
However, the Governors, at a virtual meeting held on January 19, noted that the ban was beyond the powers conferred on the NFIU by law.
The Governors in a communiqué signed by its Chairman, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto State), (NGF), said NFIU acted outside its legal remit and mandate.
Part of the communiqué reads: “We, the members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), received a briefing from the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, on the naira redesign, its economic and security implications including the new withdrawal policy.
“Governors are not opposed to the objectives of the Naira redesign policy.
“However, we observe that there are huge challenges that remain problematic to the Nigerian populace.
“In the circumstances, governors expressed the need for the CBN to consider the peculiarities of states, especially as they pertain to financial inclusion and under-served locations.”
The NGF members “resolved to work closely with the CBN leadership to ameliorate areas that require policy variation, particularly the poorest households, the vulnerable in society and several other citizens of our country that are excluded.
They also agreed to “collaborate with the CBN and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in advancing genuine objectives within the confines of our laws, noting that the recent NFIU advisory and guidelines on cash transactions were simply outside the NFIU’s legal remit and mandate.”
Member agreed to “set up a six-member committee to be Chaired by the Governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Soludo and the governors of the following States: Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Borno, Plateau and Jigawa as members, to engage the CBN in addressing anomalies in the country’s monetary management and financial system.”