Local government administrations in Nigeria would not be able to withdraw cash above N500,000 daily, from June 1, 2019, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, has said.
The NFIU also vowed to apply sanctions on any commercial bank that allowed transactions to be carried out on any local government account before money actually hit such account.
The anti-corruption agency also indicated that any transaction exceeding the N500,000 limit must be carried out through valid cheques or electronic transfer.
NFIU’s acting Chief Media Analyst, Ahmed Dikko, stated this in an emailed statement in Monday, directed all financial institutions, relevant stakeholders, public servants and the public to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the guidelines which had been submitted to financial institutions and relevant enforcement agencies.
According to the statement, the directive was sequel to findings that indicated that cash withdrawals and transactions of the State and Joint Local Government Accounts posed the “biggest corruption, money laundering and security threats at the grassroots levels and to the entire financial system and the country as a whole.”
The NFIU further explained that the measures were necessitated by the threats of isolation of the Nigerian financial system by other international financial systems on account of the deficiencies in the nation’s anti- money laundering and counter-terrorism financing implementation.
The statement reads in part: “Henceforth, all errant individuals and companies will be allowed to face direct international and locally targeted sanctions, in order not to allow any negative consequences to fall on the entire country.
“To be precise, with effect from 1st June, any bank that allows any transaction from any local government account without monies first reaching a particular local government account will be sanctioned 100 per cent both locally and internationally.
“In addition, a provision is also made to the effect that there shall be no cash withdrawal from any local government for a cumulative amount exceeding N500, 000 per day. Any other transaction must be done through valid cheques or electronic funds transfer.”
According to the agency, the complete guidelines had been released to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Chief Executive Officers of all banks and other financial institutions.
“Any state government that is willing to seek any expert economic advice in the unlikely event of these guidelines constituting an inconvenience to the management of the state can work with the NFIU or CBN,” the statement said.
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