Nigerians may not be able to shop online from May 2018

The EFCC may be to blame for Nigeria's expulsion from the global collective of Financial Intelligence Unit

The global collective of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Egmont Group, is considering expelling Nigeria from the group. If this expulsion is fulfilled, Nigeria will be blacklisted in global financial markets. Which will affect all card dealings: International card transactions will be blocked, and national banks will not be able to issue Master or Visa cards.

The group found that Nigeria’s FIU was under the control of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and suspended the body, stating that the government involvement is against the intelligence group’s independent ownership rule. Their aim as a group is to share knowledge on how to combat financial terrorism, and they believe government interference conflicts with these goals. There have also been suspicions that the EFCC has been leaking details of the group’s panel meetings, compromising the purpose of the group and its other 152 member countries. As punishment, threatened to expel Nigeria from the group if the EFCC was still in control of Nigeria’s FIU by the end of January 2018.

Though the Senate signed a bill removing Nigeria’s FIU from under the EFCC’s control in July 2017, the Egmont Group found that Nigeria’s FIU was never removed from the EFCC’s control. Before Nigeria joined the group in 2007 under President Obasanjo’s leadership, we were unable to engage in correspondent banking. If the Nigerian finance sector is blacklisted, not only will international banking transactions be cancelled, international students on scholarships in some countries may have to withdraw. It also means Nigeria won’t be able to gain from the Egmont Group’s foreign funds recovery aid, so the chances of recovering stolen funds from foreign accounts would be near impossible.

The fate of Nigeria will be discussed and decided at the Egmont Group in Argentina between the 2nd and 7th of May 2018.

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