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Master, Visa Cards ‘To Be Blocked Abroad

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Nigerians may no longer be able to carry out international transactions as Egmont Group is considering expelling the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
A major consequence of the expulsion will be the blacklisting of Nigeria in international finance. This could affect the issuance of Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards by Nigerian banks.

It could also affect the international rating of Nigerian financial institutions, restricting their access to some big-ticket international transactions. Nigeria will also no longer be able to benefit from financial intelligence shared by the other member countries, including the US and the UK.

Also to be affected is the country’s ability to recover stolen funds abroad. It is understood that the expulsion is part of the agenda of Egmont’ working group and heads of FIU meeting between March 2 and March 7, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In July 2017, the group suspended Nigeria, citing interference of EFCC in the workings of the NFIU. The body had asked Nigeria to amend the law establishing the NFIU to make it autonomous.

It also accused the NFIU of failing to protect “confidential information, specifically related to the status of suspicious transaction report (STR) details and information derived from international exchanges”.

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