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Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Profile

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is the central national agency in Nigeria, responsible for the receipt and analysis of financial disclosure (Currency transaction reports and Suspicious transaction reports) and dissemination of intelligence generated there-from, to competent authorities.

It was established in June 2004 (operational in January 2005), to coordinate the country's anti-money laundering and combating the financing terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

The NFIU, though domiciled in the EFCC, services all the stakeholders, including law enforcement and regulatory agencies . The domiciliation of the NFIU within the EFCC (law enforcement agency) is strategic, given the peculiarities of the Nigerian economy and polity.Beside the three core functions of an FIU (receiving, analyzing financial disclosures, development and dissemination of financial intelligence to end users) the NFIU carries out other non core functions, including

  • Monitoring Compliance with AML/CFT Requirements - to ensure compliance by reporting entities

  • Training and Research - to enhance the knowledge base of stakeholders and aid AML/CFT policy formulation.

  • Enhance Public Awareness on AML/CFT Issues - through publicity in the print and electronic media, publication of newsletters etc.

  • Advisory Role- the NFIU provides inputs that help to fine-tune extant AML/CFT policies, regulations and laws based on findings from topology studies on money laundering/terrorism financing.

On a broader spectrum, the principal goal of the NFIU is to increase the transparency of Nigeria's financial and designated non financial systems so that

economic and financial crimes, particularly money laundering and terrorist financing, can be prevented or detected, investigated and successfully

prosecuted. Since its establishment, the NFIU has played significant role in deepening the implementation of AML/CFT regime in Nigeria, including:

  1. Providing a coordinated approach to the implementation of AML/CFT regime in Nigeria.

  2. Enhancing stakeholders' awareness and the compliance level of reporting institutions to AML/CFT requirements through capacity building etc

  3. Facilitating the investigation and prosecution of economic and financial crimes, through intelligence developed and disseminated to competent authorities.

  4. Facilitating the review/enactment of relevant AMl/CFT legal and regulatory frameworks. For instance, the NFIU facilitated the presentation and consideration of the anti-terrorism bill by the national assembly and the review of MLPA 2004.

  5. Playing a leading role in delisting of Nigeria from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) black list of Non Cooperating Countries and Territories, and the withdrawal of US FinCEN Advisory - which hitherto affected foreign direct investment and general business transactions with Nigerian Banks.

  6. Supporting government efforts in the provision of enabling environment for economic activities. The NFIU contributed significantly to the cleansing of the financial and designated non financial sectors, thereby improving investors' confidence in the FIs and DNFIs and enhancing their overall role in national development.

  7. Played a key role in improving the image of Nigeria in the international community.

The NFIU is headed by a Director who is the chief accounting officer. At present, the NFIU is divided into seven departments, namely: Administration, Monitoring and Analysis, Compliance and Enforcement , Legal,Research and Cooperation, Strategic Analysis and Information and Communication Technology Departments. Each of these Departments is manned by a head who reports directly to the Director.

The NFIU is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. Since inception, it has worked in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), to develop other FIUs within the sub-region, and to fully implement AML/CFT regime within the West African Sub-region. The NFIU also serves as the National Correspondence office for GIABA in Nigeria. In this capacity, the NFIU coordinates all activities of GIABA in the country.

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