According to Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), three active state governors are being watched for attempts to launder cash through table payment of salaries to workers. However, the three governors’ identities were kept a secret by the EFCC boss.
But, in an interview with Daily Trust, Bawa said two of them were from the North, while the third one was from the southern part of the country.
He added that intelligence at the agency’s disposal revealed that the three governors had concluded plans to inject the money into the system through table payment of their state workers’ salaries.
Bawa said, “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 have some of this cash stashed in various houses and the rest are now trying to pay salaries in cash in their state,” he told Daily Trust.
Asked whether the commission would summon the said governors, Bawa simply said they were closely monitoring them.
He said, “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,” he said, noting that the act was against section 2 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.”
“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, must not be above N5m and if it is above that it is criminal for you to engage in such transaction. And for corporate entities, it is N10m.”
“Yes, I agree the salaries are not up to that but why are you all of a sudden, and all along you have been paying people salaries through their bank accounts and now you want to pay them in cash, what are you trying to do? They will come under a lot of guises, they are trying to do verification of officers, that is what we have gotten,” Bawa said.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria had indicated readiness to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 bank notes.
On October 26, the CBN announced that the country’s currency would be redesigned to address many issues that had negative effects on Nigeria’s economy.