President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, three bills aimed at improving the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing/proliferation financing framework in Nigeria.

The bills are: the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, and the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022.

Speaking at a signing ceremony at the Council Chamber, State House, the President described the bills as being in tandem with this administration’s commitment to fight corruption and illicit financing activities, as well as critical to the governance agenda and the development of Nigeria.

He said The new laws have provided enough punitive measures and containment strategies against abuses and compromises

he said, noting that the inadequacy of all the repealed Acts had impacted legal actions against offender.

President Buhari commended the National Assembly for their tenacity, courage and commitment in ensuring that Nigeria has put in place effective measures to address the menace of money laundering, terrorism, and terrorism financing.

The President noted that the 9th National Assembly has proven to be patriotic, responsive, resourceful and industrious in its legislative assignments, recalling that on 14th January, 2022, he had sought expeditious passage of the said Bills.

He lauded the Assembly under Senate President Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and their colleagues for responding to his request

President Buhari told the ceremony attended by the Senate President and other Senators, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Heads of anti-corruption agencies, including ICPC and EFCC, that the executive arm of government “carefully avoided creating another asset recovery and management agency with its cost implications in deference to government’s sensitivity to the rising cost of governance.”

He explained that the new law mandates the creation of dedicated accounts for the proceeds of crime and other confiscated assets in order to enhance the accountability of the process:

Stressing that the fight against corruption requires an “All of Government, All of Nation approach’’, the President affirmed that every Nigerian had a role to play to rid the country of corrupt practices.

He commended the members of the National Action Task Force comprising several Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, noting that the bills are a clear demonstration of government functioning at its best with coordination, collaboration, and execution all towards a common goal.

The President assured Nigerians that his administration will continue to do its best to secure the nation, adding that the bills signed into law represent not just legislative instruments but very significant governmental actions projecting courage, determination, and sincerity in tackling the menace of Money laundering, terrorism and other financial crimes.

BELLO WAKILI