Cablegate: Nigeria: Fatf Update -- New Hope

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

REF: A. ABUJA 3185
B. 3138

1.(SBU) RNLEO December 12 contacted Senator Abdullahi
Abubakar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs and
Financial Crimes, for an update on the legislation being
considered by the National Assembly in response to FATF
concerns. Abubakar reported that he had chaired a
"harmonization" committee meeting consisting of two other key
Senators and three members of the House of Representatives on
the night of December 10. The harmonization committee met
immediately following a House meeting on the draft anti-money
laundering legislation. According to Abubakar, the
harmonization committee members had been sensitized to the
concerns of the FATF with regards to the changes made by the
Senate to the draft Amendment to the Money Laundering Act of
1995. The earlier Senate changes had raised the reporting
thresholds for customer identification and cash transactions
to levels deemed unacceptable by the FATF.

2.(SBU) Abubakar claims that the harmonization committee
approved the original language and reporting thresholds (USD
5,000 or equivalent for customer identification and naira one
million/five million for reporting of individual/corporate
cash transactions) proposed by President Obasanjo in the
draft bills submitted in October. According to Abubakar,
the full Senate is being recalled from recess for an
emergency session on Saturday, December 14 to vote on the
revised Senate legislation. He expects the Senate to approve
the revised legislation and pass it to the President for
signature later in the day.

3.(SBU) Announcements in local papers December 13 confirm
Abubakar's statement of an extraordinary Senate session on
December 14. One such announcement in daily newspaper "This
Day" reads: "The Senate will reconvene tomorrow for a
special session to discuss various issues of national
importance. According to a statement signed by the Clerk of
the Senate yesterday, Senators are expected to assemble for
the special session at 10 a.m. The Senate which began its end
of year recess is expected to reconvene end of January."

4.(SBU) Comment: We will monitor the progress of the Senate
special session and seek to obtain copies of the final
legislation as soon as it is produced. These will be faxed
immediately to INL, AF and Treasury for analysis. The
Executive and Legislative branches are working together
closely (a rarity) to meet Nigeria's international
obligations. Wednesday's and tomorrow's emergency,
recess-breaking sessions of the House and Senate are a
remarkable sign of the seriousness with which the Government
is taking the threat of FATF sanctions.

5.(SBU) With a yard from the goal line, we would hope that
U.S. Treasury would refrain from making a public announcement
on potential Patriot Act Section 311 special measures
(accompanying the designation of Nigeria as a jurisdiction of
"primary money laundering concern") until it has had time to
analyze the legislation that may be enacted over the weekend
or early next week.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


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>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

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>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>