Three legislation were signed into law by President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on Thursday: 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.
The pieces of legislation, according to a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, are intended to improve the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing/proliferation finance framework.
‘In the continued fight against money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes, President Buhari signs three measures into law,’ read the statement.
The President, speaking at a signing ceremony in the Council Chamber of State House, praised the legislation as being in line with his administration’s commitment to combating corruption and illicit finance, as well as important to Nigeria’s governance agenda and progress.
“The new rules have sufficient punitive measures and containment techniques against abuses and compromises,” he stated.
“We will not stop until we have eradicated the threat of money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes from our country.”
“The signing of these bills into law today not only strengthens Nigeria’s anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) framework, but it also addresses the deficiencies identified in Nigeria’s 2nd round of Mutual Evaluation, as assessed by the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa on compliance with the Financial Action Task Force global standards.”
“Accordingly, the repeal of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and the enactment of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 provides a comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria, and confers the legal status of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
The repeal of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011, as amended in 2013, and the enactment of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition) Act of 2022, he said, will allow for the effective implementation of international instruments for the prevention and combating of terrorism, as well as the suppression of terrorism financing.
The President informed those in attendance that the executive branch of government “carefully avoided forming another asset recovery and management agency with its associated costs in deference to government’s sensitivity to rising governance costs.”
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According to him, the new law requires the formation of designated accounts for proceeds of crime and other confiscated assets in order to improve the process’ accountability.
“I have thus taken note of the Act’s emphasis on collaboration, synergy, and unity of policies and actions to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation finance.”