The Senate has urged the 36 state governments to fully support the implementation of the new guidelines by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to promote good governance at the local government level.
The Senate also urged the NFIU and all financial institutions to support the implementation of the new guidelines with diligence and professionalism.
Adopting a motion by Sen Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger), the Senate urged the Federal Government to urgently fund the operations of NFIU so that it could work to earn the confidence and trust of Nigerians and its international partners.
Senators also agreed to support and commit themselves constitutional amendment that would deepen democracy at the local government level as envisaged by the Nigerian constitution.
Leading debate on the motion, Sabi said the new NFIU financial guidelines were prompted by threats by international financial watchdogs to sanction Nigeria due to financial abuse.
He said the guidelines provide that the joint account system in place in most states would only exist for the receipt of allocations but not disbursement.
He said the guidelines would limit cash transactions in the local governments’ accounts to a daily maximum of N500, 000 and subsequent withdrawals must be approved by cheques or electronic payment channels.
In their contributions, senators lauded the new guidelines and called on the relevant stakeholders to adhere by that.