Good or bad, reactions continue to trail passage of NFIU Bill
As reactions continue to trail the passage of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU,Bill Senator Shehu Sani representing, Kaduna Central district says with the assent of the Bill by the President, Local Governments’ funds will be safely in the account and control of the LGs.
According to the Senator who took to twitter, “the LGs have now been liberated”. He however advised LG Chairmen to be prudent and transparent to avoid traps.
Recall that the Acting Chief Media Analyst of NFIU, Ahmed Dikko, had said in a statement issued in Abuja that the enforcement of the guidelines based on the constitutional provision, was necessary to stimulate the reduction of crime vulnerabilities created by cash withdrawals from local government funds across the country.
Dikko added that cash withdrawal and transactions from State Joint Local Government Accounts (SJLGA) “posed the biggest corruption, money laundering and security threats at the grassroots and to the entire financial system and the country, and effective from June 1, 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, locally and internationally”.
Dikko, who said a provision was also made to the effect that there shall be no cash withdrawal from any local government account for a cumulative amount exceeding N500,000 per day, added that any other transaction must be done through valid cheques or electronic funds transfer.
With this development, NFIU says it has decided to uphold the full provisions of Section 162 (6) and (8) of the 1999 Constitution by ensuring that “State Joint Local Government Account shall be paid in, allocations to the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the government of the state”.
“The amount standing to the credit of local government councils of a state shall be distributed among the local government councils of that state and not for the other purposes.”
However State governors in reaction have said the guidelines were detrimental to the interest of states and local governments and would cripple programmes such as Universal Basic Education, Primary Health Care as well as the payment of salaries of teachers, medical doctors, health workers among others.
The governors had in a letter signed by the immediate past Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF Chairman and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, and sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, titled Re: NFIU Enforcement and Guidelines to Reduce Crime Vulnerabilities Created by Cash Withdrawal from Local Government Funds Throughout Nigeria Effective June 1st, 2019, and dated May 15th, 2019, said they extracted “copiously from the constitution” to draw the attention of the president to section (6) (a) and (b) “which confers on the States and National Assemblies the powers to make provisions for statutory allocation of Public revenue to the Local Councils in the Federation and within the states respectively.”
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) bars governors from accessing funds meant for local governments.