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Nigeria's parliament passes anti-money laundering law

Staff Writer | March 8, 2018
Nigeria's parliament passed legislation meant to help authorities tackle money laundering and funding for terrorism by allowing its financial intelligence unit to operate free of state control.
Muhammadu Buhari
Africa   Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit
The move is aimed at removing bureaucracy impeding investigations of financial crime and was taken under international pressure on Nigeria to crack down on endemic corruption afflicting the economy and law enforcement.

Nigeria's upper legislative house, the Senate, adopted the bill on Wednesday, completing its passage through parliament after the lower house's approval on Tuesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari would need to sign the legislation for it to come into force, but is expected to do so.

The new law makes the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit an independent body able to share information with counterparts abroad. Until now, the agency has operated under Nigeria's state Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Parliament acted after the Egmont Group, a body of 155 Financial Intelligence Units worldwide, threatened to delist Nigeria unless its own unit gained autonomy, enabling it to deal with financial crimes more effectively.