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Magu charges professionals, business owners on illicit financial flows

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 30/11/2018

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•EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
•EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has called on critical stakeholders in the Nigerian financial landscape to rally round the anti-graft agency in curbing illicit financial flows in the business sector.

Magu gave the charge at the opening of a two-day workshop on Thursday in Abuja, aimed at sensitising self-regulatory bodies and trade associations in the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

“Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ML/FT) are financial crimes with significant negative economic and security impacts, and no nation can prosper where money laundering and terrorist financing is endemic,” he said.

Represented by Bamanga Bello, Director, Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), Magu noted that the workshop tagged, “Effective Implementation of AML/CFT Measures in the DNFBPs Sector in Nigeria”, was essential in creating awareness on the adverse effect of illicit financial flows on the Nigerian economy, and to build capacity for the DNFBPs in Nigeria.

He said: “We are constantly faced with the devastating effects of money laundering and terrorism globally and sadly, this includes Nigeria.

“It has been established that Nigeria is one of the most terrorised countries in the world. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) released in November 2017 ranked Nigeria as the third most terrorised country in the world which also suggests high level of terrorist financing activities in Nigeria as planning and execution of any act of terrorism requires funding.

“There is a need to change the narrative on the anti-corruption fight following the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which was released by Transparency International (TI) and ranked Nigeria 148 out of 180 assessed countries, more work need to be done.

“We are living witnesses to the despicable state of basic infrastructure in Nigeria, owing largely to the pilfering away of public assets, which has affected our collective economic wellbeing as well as security of lives and property in Nigeria.”

He, therefore, used the medium to call on all Nigerians to be proactive, and join hands with the anti-graft agency, in order to ensure a paradigm shift and kick corruption out from Nigeria.

In his remarks, Emmanuel Uche, Programme Manager, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, RoLAC, said “the objective of the workshop was to sensitise the target audience on the reporting and compliance obligations under the Nigerian AML/CFT laws and regulations and to enhance awareness on how such organisations could be used by money launderers and terrorist financiers to perpetrate their unscrupulous activities”.

He commended the EFCC for its efforts in combating illicit financial flows, noting that, “the EFCC is not one of the organisations in Nigeria that anyone can say is sleeping, the work done by EFCC through the SCUML and Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU  is very significant via the preventive measures such as this workshop”.

Francis Usani, Director, NFIU, represented by Mustapha Abdulrahman, Head Monitoring and Analysis, NFIU, said: “Fighting corruption is fighting a global battle and the true victims of corruption may never know how much they have been short changed so while looking at the global picture we need to do our little part individually to curb this menace.”

The workshop was organised by SCUML, in partnership with the British Council, under RoLAC, and is in preparation for the forthcoming of Financial Action Task Force (FAFT)/Inter-Government Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA mutual evaluation of the Nigerian Anti Money Laundering/Counter Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime coming up in September/October 2019.

Participants of the forum included Self-Regulatory Bodies (SRBs): Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV),  Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee(LPDC), Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Housing Developers Cooperative Society (HDSC), Estate Surveyors and Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON), and Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGOs).

Also, in attendance were Trade Associations in the DNBPs sector including; Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Motor Dealers Association of Nigeria (MDAN), Nigeria Hotel Association (NHA), Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Association of Casino Operators of Nigeria (ACON), National Association of Supermarkets Operators of Nigeria (NASON), Jewellery Marketers Association of Nigeria (JMAN), Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA), and Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN).

Representatives of Government Regularly Authorities including National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and Ministry Budget and National Planning (MBNP) were also present at the forum.

Papers evaluated during the workshop included the overview of the relevant international standards on AML/CFT as it relates to DNFBPs, the role and functions of SCUML in the implementation of AML/CFT measures in the DNFBPS sector in Nigeria and an overview of the Nigerian AML/CFT regime and compliance obligations of DNFBPs.

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 30/11/2018 05:00:02 AM

 

 

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