The Senate on Thursday in #Abuja passed the Bill to establish the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Centre (NFIC).
When it becomes law, it would ensure the establishment of the centre independent of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The NFIC is to be the central body in Nigeria responsible for receiving, requesting, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence reports to relevant agencies.
The bill was passed following the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption under the chairmanship of Sen. Victor Lar (PDP-Plateau)
The centre would have power to among other things; ensure the prompt monitoring or freezing of unlawful financial transactions, accounts and any other means of payment or transfer of funds or property.
The centre could also freeze assets in the possession of any financial institution, designated non-financial institution or any other institution or persons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bill had hit rocky grounds at the second reading when senators disagreed on its establishment.
Lar had said that the cardinal objective of the bill was to vest the financial intelligence centre with full independence and autonomy.
He said the autonomous status would insulate the centre from undue interference and manipulation by other authorities as well as strengthen its capacity to effectively deliver on its mandate.
However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang (PDP-Akwa Ibom), opposed the passage on the ground that it amounted to duplication of the functions of EFCC.
Enang had argued that before the NFIC bill could be passed, some sections of the EFCC Act must be repealed or amended to avoid impending replication of the existing Act.
The Deputy President of Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, had said the senate would find a way to remove any conflict.
The bill, having being read for the third time on Thursday, would be forwarded to the President for his assent