By Godson Ikiebey-
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said that the effective date for the new regulations on local government funds remains June 1, 2019.
In a statement on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 Ahmed Dikko, NFIU acting spokesman, said any violation of the new regulations will be sanctioned.
You will recall that on May 6, 2019, NFIU had announced the new guidelines which would make the joint account system currently in use by state and local governments only exist for the receipt of allocations from the federation account but not for disbursement.
With the guideline, governors may lose control of local government funds.
The new measures, it was learnt, were introduced by the current administration to restore LGA’s financial autonomy. Dikko said:
“The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is using this second press statement on the above subject to reiterate its position that the 1st June effective date of the guidelines to all financial institutions and public officials on the local government funds stands.
“The Unit also maintains its understanding of the 1999 constitution that no debit is allowed on any local government funds unless and until the funds are credited to and reach the bank accounts of a local government in any state of the federation.
“The provision of the cumulative cash withdrawal not exceeding N500,000 per day is also firmly in place effective 1st June 2019.
“We observed isolated comments to the contrary in the past few days which in our assessment only amounted to wilful misinterpretation of the 1999 constitution and therefore, of no consequences to the operations of the entire financial system.
“The provision of the guidelines to the financial institutions was also on account of legitimate powers provided by the NFIU Act 2018 and any violations of the said guidelines will be sanctioned appropriately”.