By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA—Worried by the growing incidence of terrorism and money laundering in Nigeria, the World Bank and the Nigerian government have developed a template to tackle the twin evil, which has been prevalent in the country lately.
The action plan, which is being developed under the Financial Action Task Force, FATF, is aimed at stemming the tide of the twin virus afflicting the nation and halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
It will be recalled that the World Bank, which has been reviewing Nigeria’s progress on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures, is yet to give the country a clean bill of health on the two core areas of risk assessment.
The global bank’s assessment of Nigeria, which started since 2009, led to the establishment of Nigeria’s Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force, headed by former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye.
At the opening of a three-day national risk assessment workshop in Abuja, yesterday, the Presidential Committee Chairman, Oronsaye, said Nigeria was eager to meet all the benchmarks set by the FATF and place the country on a sound footing.
Oronsaye explained that strategic deficiencies in Nigeria’s AML/CFT were not addressed during the 2007 mutual evaluation of the country, making it imperative for the presidential committee to engage with the FATF to address the issues.
The former HoSF disclosed that Nigeria had made significant progress in the area of identified risks, culminating in the visit of the FATF Regional Review Group on Africa and the Middle East to Nigeria to confirm its readiness and capacity to implement medium and long-term reforms.
Leader of the three-man World Bank team already in Nigeria to facilitate the FATF workshop, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, explained that Nigeria needed to adopt country-specific measures to check money laundering and terrorism to make progress as a nation.
Stolpe said the World Bank was keen on ensuring that each country reduced the risks associated with money laundering and terrorism to the barest minimum.