Buhari signs anti-money laundering bills into law
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, three bills aimed at improving the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing/proliferation financing framework in Nigeria.
The bills are the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022.
Mr Buhari said while signing the laws at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday, that the bills were in tandem with this administration’s commitment to fight corruption and illicit financing activities, as well as critical to the governance agenda and the development of Nigeria.
“The new laws have provided enough punitive measures and containment strategies against abuses and compromises,” he said.
He noted that the inadequacy of all the repealed Acts had impacted legal actions against offenders.
“We will not rest until we rid the nation of the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes,” he added.
Mr Buhari commended the National Assembly for the commitment in ensuring that Nigeria put in place effective measures to address the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and its financing.
According to him, the 9th National Assembly has proven to be patriotic, and industrious in its legislative assignments, recalling that on 14th January, 2022, he had sought expeditious passage of the bills.
On the importance of the legislations, the President said:
“The signing of these Bills into law today strengthens the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework in the Country.
“It also addresses the deficiencies identified in Nigeria’s 2nd round of Mutual Evaluation as assessed by Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa on compliance with the Financial Action Task Force global standards.”
Mr Buhari said the repeal of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and enactment of Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 provided comprehensive legal and Institutional Framework for prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria.
It also confers the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the legal status of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering.
He said the laws provided for the effective implementation of international instruments on the prevention and combating of terrorism and suppression of the financing of terrorism.
“The enactment of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 makes comprehensive provisions for the seizure, confiscation, forfeiture and management of properties derived from unlawful activity.’’