President Muhammadu Buhari anti-corruption strategies received a boost as United Arab Emirates, UAE, have issued a directive prohibiting Nigerians who do not work there from operating accounts in any branch of their local or foreign banks.
Observers believe the move is partly to check money laundering activities of Nigerian politicians, a situation they say, has become common.
Already, UAE banks have sent out notices to some of those affected, informing them that their accounts in the country’s commercial capital have been closed without further explanation.
Nigerian politicians have been hiding under the pretext of paying children school fees to smuggle millions of dollars into the UAE.”
To signpost the seriousness attached to the directive, all such Nigerians whose accounts were closed following the policy, have been issued cheques equivalent to the amount they have in their accounts.
Unlike in the U.S and in Europe where it has become difficult to move money around, all attention has been on taking such funds to Dubai. But since it is becoming difficult to take the money to there now, “we should now see how they will launder it locally.
Kehinde Phillip, a chartered accountant, welcomes the development, as “it will be to the advantage of our country. Stacking money in another country will add pressure to the U.S Dollar.
“With the new measure, Nigeria will be able to conserve more foreign exchange to the benefit of its citizens,” he said.
For Anor Anyanwu, former Executive Director of Mainstreet Bank, the action would affect “those who are not clean and I believed that before such a decision should be taken, the authorities in Dubai would have done their due diligence and ‘Know-Your-Customer (KYC). Those whose money are clean should not fear, but those involved in illegitimate activities” are the targets.
When asked what the government of Nigerians should do as a follow up action, Anyanwu said the Federal Government can request from the UAE authorities the list of its citizens involved, “I am sure that those involved may have stolen the money from government.Follow us on Twitter at @Riverinenews
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