As the Egmont Group a global body of 155 financial intelligence units meet from Monday March 12 to Thursday March 15, 2018, one of the talking points will be Nigeria.
This is because as at Sunday March 11, 2018 the deadline for Nigeria, to align with the provisions for enacting the necessary law backing a Financial Intelligence Unit that is seperated from the Economic Financial Crimes Commission in the country.
At the end of the Egmont Group meeting, a critical decision will be taken on Nigeria, which could see the nation expelled from the group.
If Nigeria is expelled it will have dire consequences for the financial services, bulk traders and e-commerce industry amongst others.
We are looking at a situation where the risk profile of the country will be at a high level.
It will defiitely diminish the key efforts by the current administration to tackle corruption holistically as confidence from the interational community, will be low.
A expulsion will affect igeria’s investment destination profile and its aility to attract criticl capital that can boost the economic actiities in the economy.
The challenge here is that the National Assemly had passed the bill on the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, but the President has delayed the signing it into law.
At the moment the NFIU is still under the EFCC, which is an institutional challenge that needs to be addressed with international best practices.
In July, 2017 the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria as a warning to the EFCC to fast-track the seperation of the NFIU from its operations.
The delay in taking a decisive decision on the NFIU between the National Assemly and the Executive is now taking its toll on Nigeria, and one can expect blame games to ensue if Nigeria is expelled.
A major learning curve here will be the need for Nigeria to take seriously issues that have to do with international agreements and ratifications.