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BDCs Prepare for FATF Team Assessment Visit

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By Udo Onyeka

Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators under the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) are preparing for the annual evaluation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team visiting the country soon.

Speaking to financial journalists ahead of the FATF visit to Nigeria, ABCON President, Alhaji (Dr.

) Aminu Gwadabe, said BDCs are getting ready to receive the FATF team. He said that ABCON, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is organizing a sensitization workshop for over 4,500 licenced BDCs in the country.

He said the workshop, which will hold in the six geopolitical zones across the country, will take off in the next one week.

He added that the BDCs will be trained on the obligation of registering and filling reports on the NFIU goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal.

 

Gwadabe, said the anti-money laundering training is intended to familiarize BDC operators with the process of money laundering — the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash — and the laws that make it a crime.

He said that money laundering and terrorist financing pose not only a threat, but are enormous threats and challenges to the economy, security, and social life in Nigeria, the region and globally.

Gwadabe  said that the training was also meant to help BDCs maintain minimum standard of record keeping and increasing level of investors confidence for the economy.

The training, the ABCON boss added, will create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorist financing; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations.

Gwadabe said the visit became necessary after the FATF team in February, named Nigeria  in a proposed European Union blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.

The criteria used to blacklist countries include low sanctions against money laundering and terrorism financing, insufficient cooperation with the EU on the matter and lack of transparency over the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.

Gwadabe said visit by the FATF team will enable it see new efforts by the country to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.

He said that as the global body that sets standard for AML/CFT efforts, the FATF team will assess banks and other financial institutions compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures.

He said like other previous evaluations for the country, the FATF team will carry out checks at the branches of selected banks and BDCs across the country, adding that compliance at the airports and land borders may also come under their scrutiny.

Gwadabe said Nigeria has largely addressed its action plan by enacting legislation to adequately criminalise money laundering and terrorist financing, implementing procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets, ensuring that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial instructions.

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Peter Obi Promises to Change the Country for the Better

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Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi has asked Nigerians to hold him accountable if a new Nigeria fails to emerge with him as president.

Obi threw the challenge in Abakaliki on Friday at his campaign rally.

He pledged to reform Nigeria back from consumption to production.

The LP candidate assured that the country would be restored when most qualified candidates with character, trust and competence were elected.

He maintained that the 2023 general elections must be based on character and not on or and tribe.

“We will offer you a new Nigeria and also secure and unite the country.

“Let no one deceive you with religion or tell you it is their turn. Just vote people that understand governance.

“I am not contesting as an Igbo man, a south-easterner, but as a Nigerian who is most qualified and competent to revive the country,’’ Obi said.

He commended the people of Ebonyi for their solidarity and support for the Labour Party.

He urged the electorate to vote for Mr Edward Nkwegu, the gubernatorial candidate of LP in Ebonyi to build a better nation.

In his remarks, National Chairman of Labour Party, Mr Julius Abure, appreciated the people of Ebonyi for their show of solidarity, support and commitment to the party.

Abure said the LP would produce most intelligent and credible candidates to fight poverty and insecurity in the country. (NAN)

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Alia Polls 219,009 at  APC Governorship Re-run in Benue 

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From David Torough, Makurdi

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has again, won the gubernatorial primary rerun election conducted by the Sen. Bashir Lado led rerun committee. 

Alia polled a total number of 219,002 to defeat 12 other aspirants to emerge winner.

Recall, that the court of appeal sitting in Makurdi while delivering judgement in a case filed by one of the gubernatorial aspirants, Prof.

Terhemba Shija directed the party to conduct a primary re-run election in eleven(11) local government areas of the state.

While announcing the result at the APC Secretariat Makurdi, which also served as the collation Centre for the rerun, Sen. Lado, Chairman of Benue State Rerun Election Committee stated that the primary election rerun which was won by Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia was not only free, fair and credible but represented the wishes of  APC members in Benue State.

Chairman of the party in the State, Comrade Augustine Agada while commending APC members in the state for a peaceful primary election, thanked them for their show of maturity during the rerun and termed the results of the election as no victor no vanquish, explaining that the winner in the election is not only Fr. Alia but for the entire Benue APC family.

In a good will message, Amb. Prof. Stephen Ugba who spoke on behalf of party Stakeholders, commended Benue APC for a successful exercise and called on all those who participated in the primary election to see themselves as winners. 

The party immediately after the declaration of results went into a Special Congress to ratify the primary elections. 

The Congress unanimously ratified and adopted Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia as the candidate of APC  Benue state for the position of governor.

The Special Congress was attended by members of the State Executive Committee of the party, Critical Stakeholders, teeming members of the APC in Benue state and members of the press.

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Man Slumps, Dies At FCMB Bank In Rivers

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Man has allegedly slumped and died in front of a branch of the First City Monument Bank at Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, Rivers Stateon Tuesday.

The man’s death, according, to a Twitter user, Dokubo, Kenneth Promise #EndSARS, who posted it on his Twitter handle @dokubo_kenneth, was due to frustration resulting from hostile treatment meted out on him by the customer service officials of the bank.

According to the report, the man (whose name was withheld) had been trying to withdraw money but could not, as the bank asked him to do an affidavit in order to have access to his money.

Dokubo further said the victim went with his next of kin to the bank as judicial workers had been on strike, jeopardising any process of swearing an affidavit.

Man dies at @MyFCMB in Port Harcourt due to frustration and unfriendly treatment by the customer service attendants of a bank,” Dokubo tweeted.

 

The man was said to have been vomiting and begging having been in the queue for five hours before he collapsed and died.

“An eyewitness at the scene of the incident disclosed that a man who hails from Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, a customer of (First City Monument Bank) FCMB died in front of the bank.

“He was refused access to his own money since Friday even when he came with his next of kin. He was asked to go to the court to get an affidavit knowing the court is not in session.

“Narrating the event, she added, ‘The man was vomiting and at the same time begging for him to have access to his own money yet he was denied. After he was left unattended to for more than 5 hours, he just died now a few minutes ago at FCMB, Education Bus Stop, Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, she said,’” Dokubo reported on Twitter.

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