JONATHAN TASKS SENATE ON PASSAGE OF MONEY LAUNDERING, ANTI-TERRORISM BILLS
By BEN AGANDE
President Goodluck Jonathan again yesterday asked the senate to expedite the passage of the Money Laundering Prohibition Bill 2009 and the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2009 which had been before the two chambers of the National Assembly for the past two years.
President Jonathan's letter which was read on the floor of the senate yesterday by the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, is the third reminder the president would send to the upper legislative chamber asking them to expedite action on passage of the bills.
The president had in June 2010 written to the senate warning that there would be 'grave economic and political consequences of Nigeria being blacklisted again by the financial Action Task Force if we fail to address the identified deficiencies' through the passage of the Bills.'
In the letter to the senate president, dated February 14, 2011, President Jonathan noted that Nigeria had gained 'some positive mileage through meaningful engagement with both the financial Action Task Force and the International Contact Regional Group on the commitment of our nation to adapting the international best practices in financial transactions. This endeavor enabled us to get delisted from the list of non-cooperative nations.'
The president noted that 'since the vital Bills had passed the committee stage, and had been read twice on the floor of the two chambers, 'it is my hope that we will make the final push to ensure their expeditious passage. This will have the effect of reassuring the international community of Nigeria's unwavering commitment to the global fight against money laundering and international terrorism.'