President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law three bills aimed at improving the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing/proliferation financing framework in Nigeria.
The bills are the Money Laundering Prevention, and Prohibition Bill, 2022, the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Bill, 2022, and the Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Bill, 2022.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the State House, Abuja, the President described the bills as being in tandem with his administration’s commitment to fight corruption and illicit financing activities, as well as critical to the governance agenda and the development of Nigeria.
He said the new laws had provided enough punitive measures and containment strategies against abuses and compromises, noting that the inadequacy of all the repealed Acts had impacted legal actions against offender.
The President said the government would not rest until it had rid the nation of the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.
He commended the National Assembly for their tenacity, courage, and commitment in ensuring that Nigeria had put in place effective measures to address the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and terrorism financing.
The President noted that the 9th National Assembly had proven to be patriotic, responsive, resourceful and industrious in its legislative assignments.
He lauded the Assembly under Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, as well as their colleagues for responding to his request to pass the bill, saying that they had certainly carved out a worthy legacy for themselves.
President Buhari said the Executive Arm of Government carefully avoided creating another asset recovery and management agency with its cost implications in deference to government’s sensitivity to the rising cost of governance.
According to him, the new law mandates the creation of dedicated accounts for the proceeds of crime and other confiscated assets in order to enhance the accountability of the process.
He said the primary objectives were to ensure effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the implementation of the Acts.
Stressing that the fight against corruption required an all-of-Government, all of Nation approach, the President affirmed that every Nigerian had a role to play to rid the country of corrupt practices.
The President assured Nigerians that his administration w3 continue to do its best to secure the nation, adding that the bills signed into law represent not just legislative instruments but very significant governmental actions projecting courage, determination, and sincerity in tackling the menace of money laundering, terrorism and other financial crimes.
The ceremony was attended by the Senate President and other Senators, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Heads of anti-corruption agencies, including ICPC and EFCC.