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By Chief Anthony Ani, FCA, Former Minister Of Finance.



The above question was posed in an article in The PUNCH newspaper edition of September 9, 2019, by columnist Henry Boyo.

I have been a daily reader of The PUNCH for the past 10 years and I have not yet, read any comments from anyone on this question.

There is a need to discuss this issue, as it appears that there is massive foreign exchange laundering going on in our banks.

As the architect of the Diaspora remittances in 1996, I am naturally concerned at the abuses disclosed by Boyo.

When in 1995, we at the Ministry of Finance reviewed the country’s sources of foreign revenues, we found out that nothing was coming in from Nigerians in the Diaspora, whereas India and Jamaica were living on foreign exchange from their citizens abroad.

When I enquired why Western Union and MoneyGram could not receive money from Nigerians abroad, I was told that it was due to our tax laws.

As a Chartered Accountant student in 1962, I studied Comparative Commonwealth Taxation in Nigeria, Jamaica and the UK, and I found out that the tax laws of these countries had the same wordings on imposition of tax (“tax is imposed on income accruing in, derived from or brought into”).

The question then to me was why income “brought into” India was not taxed in India? On enquiry, I found that India had modified its tax laws to accommodate its citizens living abroad who wanted to send money in foreign exchange to India.

In 1996, I had proposed (and it was accepted by the Federal Executive Council) in a new law, regarding Nigerians repatriating remuneration from abroad, Nigerians repatriating dividends, royalties, fees, commissions from foreign countries receipts by authors, sportsmen/women, musicians, play writers, artist, etc.

Such income repatriated into Nigeria in foreign currency was 100 per cent exempted from tax, provided the foreign currency was repatriated through a domiciliary account with a Nigerian bank!

With the promulgation of this law, First Bank Nigeria Ltd brought in Western Union in August 1996 while the USA(UBA) brought in MoneyGram a few weeks later.

In 1996, Nigerians abroad repatriated about $4.5bn (about 50 per cent of our gross revenue from oil) and we ensured that these amounts were brought into Nigeria, intact, in foreign exchange.

The receipts increased exponentially in 1997 and 1998 and we also made sure that they were received in Nigeria, in foreign currency.

The receipts helped to stabilise our exchange rate mechanism at N82 to a dollar, throughout my tenure as the Minister of Finance, to the extent that the naira was internally convertible currency.

Some years ago, on my visit to London, I went to Western Union office, at Marble Arch, to test by remitting £500 to my son in Nigeria.

I first had to convert the money to dollars and to my surprise, Western Union gave me a quote in naira to be claimed by my son.

I refused their naira equivalent and insisted that my son must be paid in dollars.

It was obvious to me that there was an arrangement between our Nigerian banks and Western Union/MoneyGram, whereby the former pays from their excess naira liquidity while the later retains the dollars abroad.

In other words, the dollar remittance is retained abroad and is laundered by the Nigerian banks. This is definitely against the law which provide that all remittances must be brought into Nigeria in foreign currency via domiciliary account.

If by chance, as in my case, the dollar is remitted into Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria on August 14, 2014, introduced the Outward Money Transfer Service and authorised the same MoneyGram and Western Union to re-export, in tranches of $5,000 per transaction, to Nigerians abroad, on payment of the naira equivalent at the CBN rate of exchange.

Thus, Nigeria is the only country in the world re-exporting its remittances.

It is relevant to note that the naira is not a convertible currency but remittances which are meant to stabilise our exchange rates are re-exported!

There is something wrong at our Central Bank.

It could be that we have imported the mentality of commercial banking into the CBN. We now need real central bankers to govern our Central Bank.

We have central bankers amongst those in the CBN, and we also have central bankers amongst the members of the Nigerian Economic Society or, alternatively, indeed, we can even go outside Nigeria to employ central bankers.

The fact is that the Diaspora remittances are not retained in Nigeria and there is a collaboration between the CBN, Nigerian banks and Western Union/MoneyGram; in such an event, government must investigate the infraction, punish the money launders, and recover all past Diaspora remittances retained abroad!


The Outbound Money Transfer Services must be stopped and all our remittances retained for naira stability and the nation’s development.”

October 8th,2019.

Etubom Anthony Ani is a former Minister of Finance,1993-1998.



– Aliyhu




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HANDBALL: Opeifa Cup 2023 Grand Finale Flags off at 2pm, today



HANDBALL: Opeifa Cup 2023 Grand Finale Flags off at 2pm, today

Lovers of sports will this Friday swoop on the Lagos Yaba, Rowe Park, as Secondary Schools in the State kicks off the Grand Finale of the Opeifa Cup 2023 Lagos State Secondary Schools Handball Competition, which comes up this afternoon, at 2 pm.

The Maritime First was told that going by the build-up, to the present stage, the event would definitely be both exciting and exhilarating.

Details later.

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Methodist Church enthrones first female Bishop in Nigeria



Methodist Church enthrones first female Bishop in Nigeria
*First Female Bishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev Dr Nkechi Nwosu, Bishop Diocese of Jos

The Methodist Church Nigeria, on Sunday, enthroned Rt Rev. Nkechi  Nwosu as the first female bishop of the Church in the country.

 Nwosu was enthroned by His Grace, Most Rev Dr. Joseph Nnonah, Archbishop of Kaduna at the Christ Methodist Cathedral, Jos.

The new bishop in a brief interaction with newsmen revealed that “God is using what has happened in the Methodist Church, Nigeria to tell the whole world that the time to release women to fulfill their destiny has come.

She said that women and men needed to join hands to achieve the mandate of God.

“God knew that by creating only Adam, He will not be able to bring his heart’s desire, so He had to make the woman to complement him.

“So, for the word of God to reach to the end of the world, “man must put their hands together to serve God”, irrespective of gender because God is a spirit.

“He is not a flesh, the flesh we are seeing is just for our comfort, as He said that everybody who believes in Him and is led by the spirit of God is the son of God.

“And so every child of God who is born again and dwells in the Holy Spirit is a son of God.

“And when men or women of God in charge of denominations understand this, I believe we will conquer more for the Lord than what we have done,” she said.

On the 2023 general elections, Nwosu called on Nigerians to listen to the voice of God who knows the best leader for the country at this moment.

She said that God gave Nigerians conscience and power and that the power is in the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

“We must all go out there and agree with God, listen to the spirit of God and do what God said we should do.

“Do that so that God will use us and anybody He wants to put on that seat to restore Nigeria to a place of pride in Africa, and the world,” she added.

His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, during whose tenure Nwosu was elected bishop, said that God made all humans equal.

Uche said that Jesus Christ elevated the position of women by being born of a woman.

“So I believe there is no difference between a man and a woman, after all, in the Hebrew language, a man is a he-man and a woman is she man, so we are all men.

“And moreover, in Methodist Church, we taught that people who have reached menopause, who are no longer childbearing can hold responsible office in the church because they have the capacity.

“They have the ability, they are meticulous, resourceful and spiritual.

“So we decided that we should have in Methodist Bishop a woman and I know that some time ago, the President of the British Church was a woman from Ireland,” he said.

 Nwosu will serve as Bishop of Jos Diocese.

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*1- If you are in a hotel or restaurant, and you put more sugar or milk in your tea than you do in your home then you have a predisposition to corruption.*

*2- If you use more tissue paper, soap or perfume in a restaurant or public place than you do at home, then if you have the opportunity to embezzle, you will embezzle.*

*3- If you serve yourself more food than you can devour in weddings and open buffets just because someone else will pay the bill, this is proof that if you have the opportunity to eat public money, you would.*

*4- If you usually skip people in queues, it is certain that you will not mind climbing on the shoulders of others to reach power.*

*5- If you consider that what you collect from the street, money and other things is your right, then you have signs of a thief.*

*6- If you care more about knowing a famous last name instead of a first name then you are a racist and will likely help people only because of who they are.*

*7- If you violate traffic rules and have no regard for the traffic lights… you have a tendency for all transgressions.*

_Fighting corruption starts from the self. Let’s try to be distinguished people wherever we are, and remember that honesty is what you do between you and yourself and not just what you do in the presence of people._

*_Fighting corruption starts with self!*

*Capt. Akin Ibrahim Olugbade


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