FG to stop cash withdrawals from ALL government accounts – NFIU

Our reporter| The government is planning to stop cash withdrawals from federal, states and local government accounts, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) said on Tuesday.

According to a statement by Ahmed Dikko, the unit’s chief media analyst, Modibbo Tukur, director/chief executive officer (CEO), NFIU, made the disclosure at a parley with Mahmud Yakubu, chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday.

“The government is putting all necessary measures in place to stop cash withdrawal from federal, states, and local government accounts,” he said.

“Because of the consistent devaluation of the naira and the introduction of a new naira policy, section 1 of the money laundering prohibition act is automatically activated”.

Tukur further said most cash withdrawals from government accounts, including payments for estacode, are often in excess of the cash withdrawal limit provided by the money laundering act.

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This, he said, puts public servants at risk of imprisonment.

According to Tukur, the NFIU has already prepared recommendations to the secretary to the government of the federation; all governors; and local council chairs, directing all civil servants to open domiciliary and naira accounts prior to the commencement of the policy.

The NFIU CEO said governors and council chairmen will also need to organise training for market men and women on how to use automated teller machine (ATM) and point of sale (POS) services.

However, he refuted reports that the NFIU will block FG accounts in January 2023.

The move by NFIU comes on the heels of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cash withdrawal policy, where weekly cash withdrawals are fixed at N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporates.

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Maximum cash withdrawal at POS terminals has also been reduced to N20,000 daily.

The policy is scheduled to take effect nationwide from January 9, 2023.

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