Cablegate: Nigeria: Fatf Update

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

1.(SBU) With the threat of FATF-directed "counter-measures"
looming three weeks away, Nigeria's House of Representatives
on November 21 passed all three pending pieces of money
laundering legislation. These are amendments to the 1995
Money Laundering Act and 1991 Banking and Other Financial
Institutions Act and the Financial Crimes Commission Act.
The Senate has yet to vote on any of the legislation, though
there are indications a vote could come within the next few

2.(SBU) RNLEO, accompanied by LEGATT, Assisant USSS Attache
and Assistant DEA Attache, November 25 called on Alhaji
Abudllahi Abubakar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on
Narcotics and Financial Crimes -- one of three Senate
Committees reviewing the money laundering legislation.

3.(SBU) Abubakar expressed appreciation for the seriousness
of the impending sanctions, while complaining that the
Presidency had only proposed the two Amendments in late
September and was now pushing the National Assembly to act
quickly or face the blame for international condemnation on
money laundering. Noting that the House had passed all
three bills without revisions, Abubakar stated that he and
other other Chairmen in the Senate had first wanted to merge
all three pieces of legislation into one bill since they all
cover the same topic. In the interest of time, however, the
Senators agreed to vote on all three separately. Abubakar
revealed that the Senate has made two changes to the Banking
and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Amendment. The draft
BOFI amendment presented by the Presidency allows the CBN to
refuse a bank or financial institution a license without
stating a reason. The Senate feels this is not reasonable
and has changed the bill's language to require an explicit
reason. Also, the President's BOFI amendment allows the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to freeze accounts if deemed
suspicious. Abubakar said the Senate believes this is giving
the Executive too much power and has changed the bill's
language to require a court order before an account can be

4.(SBU) The other two bills -- the Money Laundering Act
amendment and the Financial Crimes Commission Act --
apparently have not been modified by the Senate. Abubakar
assured the USG visitors that all three would be brought to a
vote by November 27, though he acknowledged that the House
and Senate versions of at least one bill will be discordant
and will require "harmonization" between the two houses (i.e.
convocation of a conference committee). Abubukar was upbeat
on the prospects of having the bills passed by the Senate and
reconciled with the House before the National Assembly
adjourns for holidays in early December.

5.(SBU) Post will continue to monitor this situation closely.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>