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HomeTop NewsNigeria activates Money Laundering Act, ban cash withdrawal from public accounts

Nigeria activates Money Laundering Act, ban cash withdrawal from public accounts

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Nigeria will henceforth stop cash withdrawal from all public accounts, include the federal, states and local government, according to the Chief executive office of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The NFIU CEO, Modibbo Tukur said in place of cash withdrawals, public officers are to open domiciliary accounts in foreign and local currencies ahead of the commencement of the new policy, which comes on the heels of the new Naira withdrawal policy announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Tukur, in a statement on Thursday was said to have gave the new directive at a parley with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmud Yakubu, in Abuja.

The statement by the NFIU’s Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, said that the introduction of the new policy became necessary following the consistent devaluation of the Naira and the introduction of a new Naira Policy, which automatically activates Section 1 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

The action is also said to have been activated following observation that most cash withdrawals from government accounts, including payments for estacode for public officials, were often in excess of the cash withdrawal limit provided by the Money Laundering Act.

The development, according to the NFIU boss, exposes innocent public officials to be liable to imprisonment.

Tukur also said the NFIU was already developing an advisory to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, state governors and local government chairmen across the country to direct all public servants in their employ to open domiciliary and Naira accounts ahead of the commencement of the policy, which becomes compulsory by law.

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Tukur said governors and local government chairmen would also need to organise training for market men and women on how to use ATM and PoS Services.

The NFIU boss described as false, claims by some persons that the NFIU would block all Federal Government accounts from January 1, 2023.

The move by NFIU is expected to give stronger teeth to the enforcement of the recent CBN policy on cash withdrawal limits where corporate and individual withdrawing amounts above the specified limits can easily be tracked by security agents.

Global Financial Digest reports earlier this month that the regulatory bank, in a circular issued to financial institutions, dated December 6, 2022, and signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, stated that individuals and corporate organisations’ withdrawal limits are not to exceed N100,000 and N500,000 respectively per week.

Withdrawals above these limits, the circular stated, will attract processing fees of five percent for individuals and 10 percent for corporate organizations.

“Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist,” it said.

The circular also stated that the maximum cash withdrawal per week via ATM shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day as “only denominations of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.“likewise, the maximum cash withdrawal via point of sale (PoS) terminal was fixed at N20,000 daily.

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