In a bid to stop the wanton diversion of local government allocations by state governments under the guise of joint account principle, the federal government, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU has warned that the June 1 takeoff date of the new regime on cash payment remains sacrosanct.
The government, through the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, said in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja that it would not go back on its decision to ensure that all allocations to LGAs in the country must hit their accounts directly and any payment above N500,000 must be done via cheques or electronic transfer.
The statement signed by the Chief Media Analyst of NFIU, Ahmed Dikko, Warner that any view being expressed on the legality of the new directive by any institution, groups or individuals was of no effect, as the law had empowered the agency to ensure that local government allocations get to them.
The agency 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,” NFIU explained.