A bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency as the central body in Nigeria responsible for receiving, requesting, analyzing and disseminating financial intelligence reports and other information to law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies and other relevant authorities and for related matter on Tuesday passed second reading in the Senate.
Leading the debate on the bill Senator Chukwuka Utazi said the establishment of the NFIA would remove the huge embarrassment of suspending Nigeria from EGMONT group.
He said the NFIA when established would provide financial intelligence to security, intelligence agencies and other relevant authorities. “Because of the present location of NFIU within the EFCC, the NFIU does not have the independence to perform their function ” Utazi said.
He further stated that there can be only one NFIU in the country. “The NFIU would enjoy free access (to) financial intelligence report from country with establish FIU around the world” Utazi said.
Utazi also added that the establishment of NFIA would ensure that Nigeria regains its position in EGMONT group.
The bill was supported by all the Senators present at the plenary.
The Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary referred the bill to Senate committee on Anti-corruption and financial crimes to report back on Wednesday.