NULGE writes 774 LG chairmen over compliance with NFIU guidelines

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has written to the chairmen of all the  774 local government councils in the country on the need to strictly comply with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) guidelines.

In a letter dated August 9, 2019 and signed by the NULGE president, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, the union warned the chairmen and the entire leadership of local government across the country not to aid, assist or allow state governors to use any means to release or divert any fund from local government to the organisations or agencies of state government.

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Comrade Khaleel  said with the vigour with which the governors, through the Governors Forum, had opposed the NFIU, they would do everything to undermine it.

The letter read in part: “We are however encouraged by the content of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit’s recent guidelines with respect to the operation of states-local governments joint accounts.

“Given the passion with which the Governors Forum had opposed this initiative, it is clear to us in NULGE that they will go to any length to either bend these guidelines or find ways of administratively/bureaucratically undermining them.

“From their pronouncements and action, our state governors are still determined as those before them to continue the looting of local government resources with their stranglehold on these joint accounts:

“Honourable chairman, it is with respect to the above context that we wish to use this opportunity in to caution the leadership of local government councils, particularly honourable chairmen of lgcs, treasurers of councils and directors, General Services and Administration (DGSAs) to exercise a high degree of restraint in carrying out directive(s) of state governors in releasing any fund whatsoever through back channels to organisations or agencies of state governments.

“In the light of the above. it is noteworthy to make reference to “Provision 9” of the NFIU’s Guidelines which dearly asserts that:

“It is hereby provided that any public officer anywhere in the country and/or any private citizen found undermining or violating these guidelines will be investigated and prosecuted under the NFIU Act. 2018, the ML(PA), 2011 (as amended), the EFCC Act, 2004 and the ICPC Act, 2000, by the Independent Corrupt and Other Related offences  Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

From the above, it is clear that any officer of the local government who blindly follows instructions of governors to transfer or divert local government funds to non-Iocal government projects will be personally liable.

“We look forward to collaborate with both the political and key administrative leadership of the local government in our future engagements, campaigns and struggle for local government autonomy.”

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