The Central Bank of Nigeria is set enforce the Money Laundering Act to the letter.
Already, the bank has asked banks, discount houses and development banks to forward the particulars of their chief compliance officers who are expected to, among other things, enforce the provisions of the Act.
The CBN, in a circular posted on its website on Tuesday, said available information had revealed that some banks, discount houses and development banks did not have substantive compliance officers.
Consequently, it has given a two-week ultimatum to all affected financial institutions to submit the particulars of their chief compliance officers and the letters of approval obtained from the apex bank.
The circular signed by the Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, I.T. Nwaoha, reads in part, “Available information has revealed that some banks, discount houses and development banks do not have substantive chief compliance officers and that the officers who occupy such position in these institutions are doing so in an acting capacity and for a long period of time. We, therefore, wish to state that these practices have negated the following on the appointment of chief compliance officers:
“The CBN circular dated August 8th, 2002 which directed the affected financial institutions to appoint chief compliance officers, not below the grade of a General Manager to, among other things, enforce the provisions of the relevant Acts and circulars on money laundering at various levels of your institutions; and
“Section 9(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) which requires them to designate, at management level, chief compliance officers in their head offices and branches, who have the relevant competence, authority and independence to implement their institutions’ AML/CFT compliance programme. This requirement is reiterated by section 1.40 of the AML/CFT Regulation, 2009 (as amended), issued by the CBN.”
“Pursuant to the above, you are requested to forward the particulars of your current chief compliance officers and the letters of approval of same obtained from Banking Supervision Department, CBN, to the Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, not later than two weeks from the date of this letter. A nil submission is required in cases of non-compliance, please.”
The CBN had recently adopted measures aimed at removing Nigeria from the list of non- cooperative countries on money laundering and terrorism financing, ahead of the visit of the Financial Action Task Force.
The FATF team is expected to arrive in September to access the country’s level of compliance.
To be delisted, Nigeria is expected to address non-implementation of procedures, identity issues, freezing of terrorist assets and failure to ensure that customer due diligence requirements applies to all financial transactions.
To fulfil this requirement, the CBN had mandated international travellers to declare funds, or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 to the Customs.
In a recent circular to banks signed by its Acting Director, Financial Policy & Regulation, Y.B. Duniya, the CBN said Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLPA), 2011, (as amended) provides that transportation of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000, or its equivalent by individuals in or out of the country shall be declared to the Customs.
Could more hope be realised from this, Globasure News Updates gathered.