SOME State governors are devising means to launder money they stashed in houses, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has revealed.
Bawa, who did not name the concerned governors, said in an interview with Daily Trust that the Commission is closely monitoring the state chief executives.
According to Bawa, the EFCC is aware of plans by three governors to infiltrate the system with money through table payment of their state workers’ salaries.
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The development is coming after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced on October 26 that it would redesign the country’s currency over issues crippling the economy.
According to the CBN governor, N200, N500, and 1,000 notes would be redesigned as a move to counter terrorism financing and hoarding of banknotes.
Nigerians were directed to deposit the old notes in banks on or before January 31, 2023 as the re-designed notes would be released on December 15, 2022.
Speaking with Daily Trust on Thursday, Bawa said intelligence at the disposal of the EFCC revealed that two Northern governors and a Southern governor have concluded plans to pay salaries in cash.
“Let me tell you something, the intel that I have yesterday and I would want you to take this thing very seriously. Already, some state governors that have some of this cash stashed in various houses and the rest are now trying to pay salaries in cash in their state,” he said.
When asked whether the Commission would summon the governors, Bawa said they were being monitored closely.
He said the move is against Section 2 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.
“I don’t know how they want to achieve that but we have to stop them from doing that. Well, we are working, they have not paid the salaries in cash yet but it is a very serious thing.
“The law is very clear regarding cash transactions. Anybody that is to consummate any cash transaction as an individual, if it is not through a financial institution, it must not be above N5 million and if it is above that it is criminal for you to engage in such transaction. And for corporate entities it is N10 million,” the EFCC chairman added.