NFIU: Senate Passes NFIU Bill, Approves 227 Nominees
The Senate passed the Conference Committee Report of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Bill. This is following the passage of the Report by the House of Representatives.
In his comments, following the passage of the Bill, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki thanked the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, and the Senators for their work on the Bill.
He also added that: “I hope that with this Bill that we have passed today — this Conference Report — that they will have a second view and re-admit us into the process.
“I hope on the part of the Executive, they quickly assent to this Bill and also ensure that the independence of the Financial Unit goes beyond just signing this Bill into law. It is important that we see it being practiced — this is very important. I hope on their part, this will be done so that our country stays as part of the EGMONT Group that has a lot of benefits for our fight against corruption. I thank you all, my colleagues, for how quickly you responded to this. You came quickly to save the country.”
Meanwhile, the Senate President has revealed that since the 8th Senate was inaugurated in June 2015, it has confirmed 227 out of 240 nominees that it has received from the Executive.
Speaking after the confirmation of Hon. Ibrahim Rufai Imam, as the new Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said:
“Let me on behalf of the entire Senate congratulate the new Grand Khadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Hon. Ibrahim Rufai Imam and wish him a successful tenure. I hope that he continues to play his role in the judiciary.
“So far, we have treated about 240 confirmations here in the Senate, of which 227 have been affirmative and only 13 have been negative.
“Sometimes, we get the impression that this Senate tends to say more ‘No’ than ‘Yes.’ But these numbers today show the level of cooperation that we will continue to give the executive.”
In another development, the Senate has disclosed that only 10% of the parastatals of the Federal Government have submitted their audited reports.
This was disclosed in a Report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the status of compliance of parastatals submission of audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation brought to the floor by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
In his comments, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said:
“I want to thank the committee for this very important report. We can now see that when they keep on saying that we are not making much progress in the fight against corruption, it is because of the fundamental issues, they are right, the foundation is still very weak.
“If we have 497 parastatals and only 47 have sent their audited reports, I think there is a serious problem. Now, we find out that the agencies that are even meant to supervise are part of those who have not sent in their audit reports.
“Now, we have taken a resolution here today to say that unless the remaining agencies do that, their budgets for 2018 is withheld. Therefore, let us remember that when we are passing the 2018 budget, the committees that are presenting the reports of the parastatals should please confirm to us whether they have complied with the auditors report.
“In the mean time, we will make sure that we also communicate to the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to ensure that all theses parastatals get their accounts audited and submitted.
“I thank you for this report, it will go a long way in us continue to support the Executive in the fight against corruption,” Saraki said.