FG, GIABA Call for Enhanced Collaboration to Combat Terrorism Financing

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The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami and the Director General, Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), Mr. Kimelabalou Aba, yesterday stressed the need for stakeholders in the financial sector and regulatory bodies to enhance collaboration to combat terrorism financing.

This call was made at the national workshop on the combating the financing of terrorism for financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) held in Lagos yesterday.

Malami, who was represented by Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Mr Francis Usani said: “A number of our members states, including Nigeria, Niger and Mali, are experiencing widespread threats from terrorist and extremist groups which is undermining regional peace, stability and integration.

“Cutting off the flow of funds to these groups is one of the most effective ways of addressing the challenge.

“Financial institutions and DNFBPS particularly in Nigeria are strategic in this regard, especially given their huge size and integration within the regional financial system.

“It is against this backdrop that we are organising the first National Workshop on combating the financing of terrorism for financial institutions and DNFBPs in Nigeria, to strengthen your capacity to effectively contribute to on-going national and regional efforts against terrorism and terrorist financing.

He further said: “It is imperative to mention that Nigeria has been scheduled for its 2nd round of mutual evaluation in September/October 2019. To enhance the performance of Nigeria in the evaluation exercise, reporting institutions should as matter of necessity, ensure effective implementation of its AML/CFT programmes.

“In addition, i call on all reporting institutions to pay greater commitment to its collaboration with relevant national authorities in the shared responsibility of combating terrorism and terrorist financing in the country.

“On our part, in addition to the training we are providing to stakeholders, including reporting institutions to strengthen their capacities to meet the requirements of international AML/CFT standard, GIABA will continue to provide technical support to member states to address observed deficiencies in especially their CFT regime.”

The GIABA boss said a number of its member states, including Nigeria, Niger and Mali, were experiencing widespread threats from terrorist and extremist groups. This he said was undermining regional peace, stability and integration.

“Cutting off the flow of funds to these groups is one of the most effective ways of addressing the challenge.

“DNFBPs particularly in Nigeria are strategic in this regard, especially given their huge size and integration within the regional financial system.

“It is against this backdrop that we are organising the first national workshop on combating the financing of terrorism for financial institutions and DNFBPs in Nigeria to strengthen your capacity to effectively contribute to on-going national and regional efforts against terrorism and terrorist financing.”

Aba who was represented by Dr. Bruno Nduka added: “In specific terms, the objectives of the workshop are to discuss the vulnerabilities and consequences of TF on reporting entities, raise awareness and/or build capacity of participants on relevant CFT standards and share related good practices to enhance implementation, develop a common understanding concerning effective and proportional responses to the risk of terrorism financing to promote cooperation, coordination and engagement amongst and between government and the reporting institutions on how to effectively disrupt terrorist financial flows.”