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Nigerian Governors, NFIU on collision course over cash withdrawal from Public account

Governors and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) may be set on a collision course over cash withdrawals and the use of security votes.Information Guide Nigeria

According to NFIU, the restriction on cash withdrawals from public accounts was still in force.

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THE NATION reports that the governors in Nigeria will engage the leadership of the anti-graft agencies, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in a virtual meeting on how to better manage security votes tomorrow.

The governors have been advised to spend whatever they want, but not in cash ahead of the meeting.

A source at the NFIU told The Nation: “Nobody is saying the governors cannot do anything with their money. They should just do the right thing.JAMB Result

“Must they spend security votes in cash? If it is the payment they want to do, they can do it through a transfer. It doesn’t have to be in cash.”

After the NFIU announced the ban on cash withdrawal from public accounts, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) scheduled a meeting.

The NFIU announced that “Nigeria will become a full non-cash economy by March 1”.

It added: “As a consequence, any government official that withdraws even one naira cash from any public account from March 1 will be investigated and prosecuted in collaboration with relevant agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).”

The NFIU advised banks and government agencies to move fully into online payments “as all transactions involving public money must be routed through the banks for accountability and transparency”.

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“Any government official who flouts the order will be prosecuted alongside his or her accomplices.”

Spokesman of the NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in a statement yesterday, quoted NGF’s Director General Mr. Asishana Okauru, as said that the decision to hold the meeting virtually was to ensure full representation.

According to him, “The meeting will also consider deepening the management and expansion of the cashless policy, which took effect from the time of the redesigning of the national currency last year, to further the financial inclusion of all citizens in the ensuing scheme of things, going forward.JAMB Portal

“This meeting is called at the instance of the NFIU, in its letter of 30th March, which was addressed to the Chairman of the NGF and signed by the NFIU Director, Modibbo Hamman Tukur.

“The letter said that apart from the facilities for national financial inclusion, it is also putting on the table the uniform development and cooperation on the national addressing and post-code project, which will put Nigeria on the same pedestal as all advanced countries across the globe.

“Also on the agenda is a consensus on harmonizing and updating the national tax collection and business entry standards and its requirements to help respond to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the European Union (EU) greylisting in which Nigeria appeared.NYSC Portal

“All governors are advised to prioritize the meeting as its contents had been discussed at the NGF emergency meeting of Thursday 30th March, where it was unanimously agreed that a meeting with the afore-mentioned agencies was imperative.”

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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