Anti Terror And Money Laundering Bills Suffers Setback In House

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ABUJA, August 12, (THEWILL) - Hopes of President Goodluck Jonathan to have the anti-money laundering and terrorism bills passed on time were today dashed as the House of Representatives postponed indefinitely the consideration of the report of its committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes on the two bills.

This is in spite of the appeal by the president who wrote to Speaker Dimeji Bankole pleading with the House to expedite action on the passage of the bills to enable Nigeria meet up with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the international community.

This is the second time President Jonathan has written to both Speaker and Senate President, David Mark urging the National Assembly to speed up action on the pending Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) bills. He had earlier written on April 29, 2010.

The two bills titled; "A bill for an Act to provide for measures to combat terrorism and for related matters and a bill for an Act to repeal the money laundering (prohibition Act 2004) and enact the money laundering (prohibition) bill for related matters.

The president had said, "Kindly consider the quick passage of the Anti-Terrorism and the Anti-Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment bills, which were presented to the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic in 2009, to enable Nigeria fulfill its commitment to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the international community.

"Mr. Speaker may wish to note that every provision in the draft bills presented to the

National Assembly is consistent and in compliance with global instruments, which Nigeria has signed and ratified. International standards require all member-states to model their domestic legislation in consonance with global best practices."

Jonathan in the letter noted that the delay in passage of the bills "will frustrate and hamper legitimate international transactions flowing from Nigeria, some countries will not honour international financial instruments emanating from Nigeria; including letter of credit."

But when the House resumed consideration of the report on the bill presented by the Chairman of its committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes, Hon. Rabe Nasir, members disagreed on several of the clauses in the bill compelling the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Usman Bayero Nafada who presided over the plenary to rule that the it be stood down ‘to find a suitable time to consider it."

However, members voted against the provision that any transaction by individuals to the tune of N5 million and N10 million for corporate entities respectively with any bank be reported to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).