By GABRIEL EWEPU
ABUJA- Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Civil Society Coalition against Corruption, CSCC, has given its support for the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency, NFIA, bill to be passed into law. This followed last week’s public hearing on a bill by the Senate.
Spokesman of the coalition, Mr. Walter Duru, said the proposed agency was in the interest of the country as the situation of corrupt practices was at a worrisome trend that had retarded the development of the country.
Duru said the determination of civil society organisations in the country to fight the menace of corruption was to guarantee the future of the nation, therefore expressed delight for the overwhelming support by stakeholders for the Bill.
Duru said: “As Civil Society Organisations, we are one of the major stakeholders of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency, NFIA, Bill, sponsored by Senator Victor Lar. This Bill is not for personal interest but for the entire country. It will help in no small way to fight corruption intelligently.
“This had made the Civil Society Coalition against Corruption, CSCC, to throw its weight behind this Bill because it has direct bearing with the lives of Nigerians who are the victims of corruption.
“The reason for our support is not far-fetched, it is because corruption had seriously impacted negatively on the nation’s image as we all know and had stunted the development expected in the country.
“I want to state that corruption is not one or two agencies’ fight, but many that could frontally and intelligently tackle it, such as the NFIA. In a way will compliment and make the fight easier for other sister organisations.”
The NFIA Bill aims at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions and designated non-financial institutions, analysis of the financial information for the purpose of turning the information into financial intelligence and dissemination of the financial intelligence to all law enforcement agencies.
The Bill will also ensure that the NFIU is not under any agency, but will have adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system according to international standards and best practices.