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NFIU insists on the legality of its ban on cash withdrawals from fed, state accounts

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The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has stated that the ban on cash withdrawals from all federal and state accounts is intended to assist governors rather than to oppose them.

The NFIU announced this in a statement on Saturday by its Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, hours after the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) criticized the NFIU’s January 5, 2023 announcement, which directed banks to stop executing cash demands from public accounts beginning March 1, 2023.

“The recent NFIU Advisory and Guidelines on cash transactions were simply outside the NFIU’s legal remit and mandate,” Governor Aminu Tambuwal-led NGF said in a statement.

The NGF also set up a six-member committee to engage the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in addressing “anomalies in the country’s monetary management and financial system.”

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In its reaction, the NFIU said, “First of all we are ready to partner with the six-man committee they set up. We will enlighten them.

“Secondly we acted within our functions and the law. We issued the Guidelines to control the barrage of investigations that we saw coming. Our Guidelines were meant to help the Governors not to fight them or any public servant.”

“Last time we issued the local government guidelines we were taken to court but we won the case.

“Finally, we also clearly stated in the preceding advisory, that the entire financial system suffered excess liquidity and liquidity ratio infringements which put hedging pressure on demand for foreign currency and gradually destroyed the value of the Naira and above all created wide room for money laundering and terrorism affecting significantly the rural populace on top of general inflation in the open market place.

“We support working together to stop these challenges and in the most progressive manner,” the statement added.

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