The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed commercial banks and other financial institutions to accept Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRCTD) and Refugee Identification Card, as means of identification for financial transactions.
This was disclosed by Dr Kevin Amugo, Director, Finance Policy Regulation Department, CBN, on Wednesday, in Abuja, via a memo to the financial institutions and payment service providers in the country.
According to Amugo, the apex bank took the decision due to the challenges which refugees and asylum seekers experience, with means of identification, when they engaged in financial transactions.
He also urged the banks to improve on due diligence in all transactions, so as to forestall money laundering and other criminal activities depending on the banking system.
He stated, “All banks and financial institutions are referred to the provisions of the CBN AML/CFT Regulations 2013 (as amended) on customer due diligence.
“They should note that MRCTD issued by the Nigeria Immigration Services; and the Refugee Identity Card issued by the National Commission for Refugee, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, are adequate means of identification for banking transactions.
“Banks and other financial institutions are also required to continue to ensure that effective customer due diligence policies and procedures are implemented to combat money laundering, financing of terrorists, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
What you should know
- CBN has introduced several measures in the banking industry to combat money laundering, financing of terrorists, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
- One of the recent moves of the apex bank to curb the menace was when it instructed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to desist from transacting in and with entities dealing in cryptocurrencies.
- Nairametrics reported when CBN also claimed that some of these cryptos are issued by unregulated and unlicensed entities which beg the question of legality. It claimed that cryptocurrencies have been used to finance several illegal activities including terrorism and money laundering.
- It stated, “The question that one may need to ask therefore is, why any entity would disguise its transactions if they were legal. It is on the basis of this opacity that cryptocurrencies have become well-suited for conducting many illegal activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion.”
- The CBN alleged that a significant amount of people used it for speculative purposes rather than payment, citing the flagship crypto model as an example.