The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said the government is planning to stop cash withdrawals from federal, states and local government accounts.
Modibbo Tukur, director/chief executive officer (CEO), NFIU, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, signed by Ahmed Dikko, the unit’s chief media analyst.
According to the statement, Tukur spoke 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.
He said this puts public servants at risk of imprisonment.
Additionally, Tukur said 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.
Meanwhile, the unit’s decision comes on the back 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.
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.