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Business News of Wednesday, 4 January 2023


FG to list withdrawal guidelines for govt accounts

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The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit is set to announce new guidelines on cash withdrawals from all government accounts on Thursday, January 5, 2023, The PUNCH has gathered.

This was contained in a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday night.

In December 2022, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the NFIU was putting all necessary measures in place to stop cash withdrawals from federal, state, and local government areas’ bank accounts. The Director and Chief Executive Officer, NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, made this revelation at a parley with the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, in Abuja.

He said, “Because of the consistent devaluation of the naira and the introduction of a new naira policy, section one of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act is automatically activated.”

Tukur further stated that most cash withdrawals from government accounts including payments for estacode are often more than the cash withdrawal limit provided by the Money Laundering Act.

This, he said, exposed innocent public servants to be liable to imprisonment. He added that the NFIU is developing an advisory to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, all governors, and local government council chairmen to direct all public servants to open domiciliary and naira accounts ahead of the commencement of the policy which becomes compulsory by law.

He also noted that governors and council chairmen will need to organise training for market men and women on how to use ATM and POS services, while refuting reports making the rounds that the NFIU will block the Federal Government’s accounts in January 2023.

In November 2022, The PUNCH also reported that the NFIU flagged suspicious transactions valued at over N150tn between January and March 2022, according to its ‘suspicious transaction report/suspicious activity report.’

The development followed an announcement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and NFIU officials that they had intensified surveillance on campaign spending by political parties and their candidates ahead of the 2023 polls.