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The Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Terrorism (Prevention) Act (TPA) all of 2011(as amended) are laws put in place to prohibit Money laundering in Nigeria and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering is the governmental unit which collaborates with the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in implementing Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

To further guarantee that money laundering is reduced to the barest minimum, the above-stated laws assigned some businesses the appellation of a Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) and one of the cardinal statutory obligations of the DNFIs after the first three (3) months of commencing Business operations is to register with SCUML for the sole purpose of curbing money laundering in Nigeria.

Before we progress further it will be pertinent to list Businesses preferred as DNFI’s and they include:

  • Dealers in jewelry
  • Dealers in luxury goods
  • Importers and dealers in cars or any other automobile
  • Hotels and other Hospitality Businesses
  • Supermarkets
  • Casinos, pools Betting & other Lottery Businesses
  • Audit firms
  • Tax consultants
  • Law firms, Notaries, and other independent Legal Practitioners
  • Accountants and Accounting Firms
  • Consultants and Consulting Companies
  • Clearing and Settlement Companies
  • Trust & Company Services Providers
  • Estate Surveyors and Valuers
  • Dealers in Real Estate, Estate Developers
  • Dealers in Precious stones and Metals
  • Dealers in Mechanized farming equipment and machineries
  • Construction Companies
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)- Non-Profit Organizations (NPO’s)
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Practitioners of Mechanized farming and such other Businesses and Professions as the Federal Ministry of Industry and Trade & Investment or appropriate regulatory authorities may from time to time designate.

For Businesses that fall under the above-listed categories of Institutions earmarked as DNFI’s, the following processes must be adhered to in order to obtain a SCUML Compliance Certificate.

Firstly, the registration is carried out through the SCUML online registration platform which is www.scuml.org and the required information to be utilized for the completion of the registration process and upload of requisite documents on the platform include the following:

  • Certificate of Incorporation/registration.
  • Form CAC 1.1 or Form BN 1(for Business names) and older Companies are required to provide Form CAC 2A or 7A which evidences the share capital/shareholding and Directorship of the Company
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.
  • Tax Clearance certificate or Print out of the TIN.
  • Company Profile indicating the nature of the Business and the Details of key personnel mandated with the day to day running of the business.
  • Constitution in case of an NGO or NPO.
  • Professional Certificate ( for professional)


  • DNFI category
  • BVN of the Company or Business
  • Bank details( account name and number)
  • Head office of the Company or Business
  • Preferred Certificate picks up location.
  • Phone no., email address, and Website/Url of applicant

It is important to note that all pages of required documents are to be scanned in PDF (adobe reader). Visitors to the site are also advised to ensure that all documents scanned and uploaded are contained in a single file/document not exceeding 2MB or 200KB.

Ahead of a successful upload of the above-stated documents, the applicant is expected to submit the application and a confirmation email will automatically be forwarded to the email address submitted by the applicant as proof of a valid submission.

To ensure that a compliance certificate is issued, the applicant must Endeavour to visit the nearest SCUML branch office for follow up or send an email to helpdesk@scuml.org with all the relevant uploaded documents so that a Compliance officer will have a firsthand opportunity to ascertain and as well interview the applicant in order to establish the authenticity of the documents supplied.

After the necessary follow-ups have been concluded, the applicant must make effort to make certain that an additional follow-up phone call or email is sent to the agency to determine the status of the application so as to know when the certificate will be ready for pick up.

The official duration for the completion of the registration process for the issuance of a SCUML Compliance certificate is Seven (7) working days from the date the agency sent a notice of receipt of the application and this is subject to the condition that all submitted documents meet the agencies requirements.

On the other hand, the effect of Non-Compliance with the registration with SCUML as a DNFI has a severe effect on the Business entity. Failure to comply with the requirements of registration will bring down the force of law to the effect that the institution will either be suspended from operating as a Business Entity, or its license will be revoked pending compliance. Other sanctions include, fine, imprisonment, or both as the case may be.

Furthermore, in the event of loss of certificate after it has been issued by the agency, an applicant is expected to come to the SCUML office with the following documents:

  • Photocopy of all the documents used in obtaining the first issued certificate.
  • A police report of loss and an Affidavit to back up the claim.
  • And an application letter requesting the agency to issue a new certificate due to the loss of the Original.

In conclusion, it ought to be noted that Professional certificates are key to the success of an application for the issuance of a SCUML Compliance certificate, so, therefore, it is important for an applicant to ensure that the Memorandum and Articles of association of the Company or the Form BN1 of the Business is thoroughly examined in order to ascertain eligibility. On that note, below is a list of Professional certificates required for both limited liability companies and Business name.

  • Law Firms – call to bar certificate, legal practicing certificates
  • Accounting firms – ICAN, ANAN, ACCA e.t.c
  • Consulting firms – the respective professional body
  • Construction – COREN membership certificate, Nigerian Society of Engineers Membership Certificate, etc
  • Real Estate – REDAN etc
  • Estate Surveyor & Valuers – Niesv, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors Certificate, etc
  • Import & Export – NEPC etc
  • Mining – Exploration License/permit (Ministry of Solid Minerals), License from a certified geologist, etc
  • Gaming and Lottery Companies – License from the National Lottery Commission
  • Hotels – Nigeria Hotels Association/Respective States Registration for Hotels etc
  • Car Dealers – Motor Dealers Association of Nigeria
  • Evidence of Registration with Jewelry Marketers Association of Nigeria
  • Clearing & Forwarding – Evidence of Registration with Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA)


Okpi, Ibe Chinedu is the Principal Partner in the Law Firm of Ibe, Chido and Associates ( www.ibechidoassociates.com ) with extensive knowledge in Corporate and Commercial Law Practice. He can be contacted via phone: 07069279374 or email: info@ibechidoassociates.com.


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