By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, by the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Unit yesterday, said it had impounded N10 billion suspected criminal funds.
It also stated that all confiscated assets of public officials and senior political office holders would soon be made public.
Director of NFIU, Alhaji Modibbo Hamman-Tukur made the disclosure at a budget defence session with the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes chaired by Mr Kayode Oladele (APC, Ogun).
Briefing the committee on the activities of the NFIU, Tukur said the Egmont Group had requested NFIU to work in partnership with sister agencies to win the war against terrorism, financial crimes and other related offences.
He said: “With the lifting of the suspension, it is likely that all assets of all leaders, public officials and political office holders will be displayed. They want to see our work with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS and Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC.
“They want us to work closely with the presidency, Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB and the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC. They want to see the assets of all public officials displayed publicly.
“We believe that NEITI and CAC are doing a good job, but it will be good that the beneficiary owner database will be domiciled with the CCB, and we will subscribe; because CCB has assets declarations of all public officers.”
The NFIU director, however, said the European Union had attempted to blacklist Nigeria and stop all her transactions overseas involving European countries shortly after the ban placed on her by the Egmont group was lifted in September 2018.
He added the unsuccessful attempt however subjected Nigeria to enhance due diligence in all transactions concerning all EU countries on suspicious transactions within their jurisdiction.
According to him, the concerns raised by the EU included terrorism, kidnapping and corruption.
“NFIU being a new body and in line with its mandate and to ensure information and data backup and enhance the confidentiality of the information in the NFIU, which has over time been one of the major concerns of the FATF and EGMONT Group of FIU’s,” he said.
On the 2019 budget, the director revealed that a total of N8.244 billion has been estimated for the fiscal year.
Of the figure, N1.154 billion was for overhead cost, N4.124 billion as capital cost while N2.865 billion was for personnel cost.
On the performance of the 2018 budget, Tukur disclosed that the NFIU had a total budget of N1.185 billion made up of N385.310 million as personnel cost, N600 million as overhead while N200 million was for capital cost.
He said the capital release to date stands at N174.946m out of the budgeted amount of N200.1m, adding that utilization percentage stands at about 12 per cent while the balance stands at N154.936 million.