SCUML, NGOs Partner To Tackle Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

SCUML, NGOs Partner To Tackle Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

The Director of Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), Bamanga Bello, has said that money laundering and terrorist financing can harm the national economy and security if not checked.

He said the issue of money laundering and terrorist financing should not concern only the government, law enforcement and regulatory authorities, adding that “the public sector, the private sector, the business community and even the ordinary citizen must play a role in combating it. Hence, there is need for a collaborative approach to overcome the menace.”

Speaking at a one-day workshop organised by the Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) in collaboration with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, February 19, 2018 in Lagos, Bamanga said the supervisory activities of SCUML with respect to the implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing, AML/ CFT, would protect and preserve the integrity of the sector.

He, however, said that the SCUML activities would not disrupt or inhibit Non-Profit Organisations, NPOs, from carrying out their legitimate functions.

“SCUML carries out its supervisory activities on the NPO sector in accordance with requirements of the FAFT Recommendation 8 and its interpretive notes, which emphasises that measures adopted to protect the NPOs sector from terrorists abuse should not disrupt or discourage legitimate activities,” he said.

The SCUML boss, who also stated that the November 2017 Global Terrorism Index described Nigeria as the third most terrorised country in the world, said it was imperative for NPOs in the country to be acquainted with the Nigeria AML/CFT measures in order “to prevent, detect and report, timely and accurately, terrorist financing activities.”

He also expressed the optimism that the knowledge gap would be substantially closed up and that there would be a paradigm shift where players in the NPO sector would appreciate and imbibe the AML/ CLF compliance culture to prevent money launderers and terrorist financiers from exploiting their organizations for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Bamanga further used the occasion to inform the participants that Nigeria was preparing for the next round of Mutual Evaluation Review, MER, which would be conducted by Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, and the Financial Action Task Force, FATF.

Also speaking, the Director, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Francis Useni, said the workshop would not only help to educate the participating NPOs on their obligations and roles under the Nigerian AML/CFT regime, but also awake their consciousness to the nexus between poor awareness of AML/CFT issues and the low capacity of the sector to combat the scourge of money laundering and terrorist financing

Useni, who was represented by the Head, Strategic Analysis, Fehintola Salisu, also relayed the agency’s readiness “to support the achievement of an effective, comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Nigerian AML/CFT regime by providing the needed guidance through capacity-building, provision of up-to-date AML/CFT typologies and informed trends assessment studies.”

Earlier in his remark, the Head, Nigeria, Network of Non-Governmental Organisations, NNNGOs, Oyebisi B. Oluseyi, said the workshop was organised to sensitize NPOs on issues surrounding AML/CFT.

“More importantly, it is also to find ways of understanding what our plans and roles are and how to be able to ensure that we fit into all these, since there is already a law that guides operations of non-profit organisations around AML/ CFT issues.”

The theme of the workshop was “Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements in the Non-Profit Organizations in Nigeria.”