The Nigerian upper legislative chamber has agreed to create a law for an independent Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) with powers to employ, promote and discipline its staff.
In reaction, the Senate resolved to empower the NFIU in line with international best practices in its relations with similar organisations in other countries.
It asked the ministries of justice, finance and interior to ensure that the suspension is reversed.
The senate called on the executive to send a budget for the NFIU before the end of the year.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by Chukwuka Utazi, Senator representing Enugu north.
While moving the motion on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, Utazi noted that Nigeria was suspended Egmont Group because the NFIU was not autonomous.
He said the interference of Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the affairs of the NFIU is another reason Nigeria was suspended.
“By virtue of our membership of the group, NFIU enjoys the benefit of privileged information which the members of the group share among themselves,” Utazi said.
“This intelligence sharing is crucial to the universal and local war against corruption, money laundering, terrorism financial and economic crimes.
“Apart from the suspension of Nigeria this July, the group has given Nigeria up to December 2017 to address the issues raised in the suspension or be expelled which will attract international sanctions.”
Also contributing to the debate, Dino Melaye, a Senator representing Kogi West, said the senate should immediately start procedures of enacting a law for the NFIU.
“Separating the NFIU for the EFCC will ensure transparency in the fight against corruption,” he said.
The Senate adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by Bukola Saraki, senate president.