Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU)
In the late - 1990s the International Community regarded Nigeria as a pariah state not only because of high level of money laundering but also because of advance fee fraud associated with Nigerians.
This state of affairs prompted the blacklisting of Nigeria as a non-cooperative country having limited legal and regulatory framework to tackle Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is therefore a child of circumstances in fulfillment of the requirement by FATF and was established in June 2004 by the then president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Apart from being the coordinating entity for the receipt and analysis of financial disclosure of Currency Transaction Reports and Suspicious Transaction Reports in line with Nigeria's anti-money laundering and combating the financing terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, NFIU also disseminates intelligence gathered thus to competent authorities.
NFIU draws its responsibilities directly from the 40+9 Special Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global coordinating body for Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts
It also draws its powers from the EFCC (Establishment) Act of 2004 and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2004 (2011)
The laws require financial institutions and designated non financial institutions to submit records of financial transactions to the NFIU
It is domiciled at EFCC being a law enforcement agency and has three central roles which are receiving, analysis of financial intelligence and dissemination of such intelligence to end-users.
Additionally, NFIU engages in the following ;
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.
Generally, NFIU expands the frontier regarding the coordination, implementation and awareness on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing as well as partnering government, the legislature and international organisations including other FIUs in distillation of financial and non-financial sectors for national and international investments.
Presently, NFIU is a member of Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and the coordinating FIU in west African sub-Region as it helps the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), in the enforcement of AML/CFT regime. NFIU is broadly segmented into the Legal/ Research and Cooperation, Strategic Analysis, Monitoring and Analysis, ICT and Administration and is headed by a Director who is the chief accounting officer assisted by heads of Units.