The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rejected Senate’s plan to pass a new anti-money laundering legislation without amending the existing Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 2011.

This was disclosed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, during his input on the legislative suggestions that an adjustment to the existing Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 2011 would better serve Nigerians’ interests than repeal and re-enactment.

According to the report, the public hearing was on three bills: “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2021, Public Complaints Commission (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2022 and Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Bill 2022

CBN Governor made a statement

Emefiele, who was represented by a Director of the apex bank, Chibuzor Anthony Efobi, warned that there is a possibility that the international review would uncover fresh weaknesses, resulting in Nigeria’s ranking being downgraded.

He said, “Where the existing Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 2011 is repealed and re-enacted, there will be new legal foundations, which have not been assessed against the FATF standards.”

This, he said, was capable of opening up the new law to deficiency in other areas not limited to those identified in the Mutual Evaluation Report, saying: “Additionally, the new law will have to be completely reviewed by the FATF and GIABA for compliance with FATF recommendations.”

“There will be a risk that the international assessment identifies new gaps which would lead to rating downgrades. Consequently, the CBN is opposed to the passage of the proposed bills for the repeal and re-enactment of the existing Money Laundering (Prevention) Act 2011,” he stressed.

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