The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has called on professional bodies classified as Designated Non-Financial Institutions, DNFIs to comply with extant regulation on rendition of transactions within the stipulated threshold as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Lamorde made this call while receiving the executives of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN in his office. He explained that the directive is not intended to be punitive, but to assist in making the society safer for all by checking incidence of corruption and money laundering. “It is our responsibility to enforce the law as passed by the National Assembly without friction, it is not targeted against anyone in particular,” he posited.
He expressed delight at the maturity exhibited by the leadership of the APBN in seeking to illuminate grey areas in the anti- money laundering enforcement framework through dialogue..
Honourable Bala Ka’ Oje, President of the APBN who led other executive members, said the visit was necessitated by the need to seek more clarification on the standing directive which makes it mandatory for professional bodies that transact in funds in excess of N150,000 to report to the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCMUL.
He expressed worry that given the volume of transactions by members of the organisation especially in the real estate sector, the requirement to report transaction of N150,000.00 and above is unrealistic. He said apart from the inconvenience to members, the regulation will equally yoke the EFCC with avoidable oversight responsibilities that could stretch its resources.
The EFCC boss however allayed the fears of the leadership of the association about the perceived cumbersome compliance regime, assuring that the members are only expected to report on transactions they have done that is above the threshold.
The APBN is the umbrella body of over 27 registered professional bodies in Nigeria. Other members who accompanied Ka’oje on the visit includes Arch Ramatu Aliu, Secretary General APBN; Elder E.I Efeng; Rowland Abonta, Council member and Kola Olayode.