By Ebunoluwa Sessou
GIABA, an institution of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, responsible for facilitating the adoption and implementation of Anti-Money Laundering, AML, and Counter-Financing of Terrorism, CFT, in West Africa has charged media professionals on ethics and professionalism. Saying Journalists are essential in fighting money laundering in the world.
Information Manager, GIABA, Timothy Melaye, who called on journalists reporting issues relating to money laundering to be more professional, opined that cases of brutal environment should be handled with caution.
According to him, GIABA is a FATF-Styled Regional Body (FSRB) working with its member States to ensure compliance with international AML/CFT standards adding that investigative journalists must adhere to professional ethics to keep their source and the identity.
“In the case of reporting a particular story which might be a challenge, they can contact their colleagues who are safe to report the story without having to link the story to them.
“They can liaise with the international bodies to keep safe and if you are in a brutal environment, you can work with your partners in other countries who can take up the issue and that way, your story is published and safe. You have to remove your perspective opinion and leave only the facts so as to get your story published
Also, Barr. Efe Anaughe, Chairman, Regional Manager, West Africa, Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Financing Terrorism Civil Society Organisations Forum Nigeria, AML/CFT/CSO Forum Nigeria, stated that the organization was formed to use its influence as CSOs to eradicate money laundering and financing terrorism at economical, political and social levels.
Speaking at the just concluded General Meeting/Training by AML/CFT/CSO forum held in ECOWAS House, Lagos, Anaughe said, the organization collaborates with relevant stakeholders including banks, financial terrorism units and law enforcement agencies and communities in exposing the dangers and channels of AML/CFT to the society.
“The CSOs can go to places where workers are restricted by their duties. We also advocate and create awareness with the populace.
“Compositions of money laundering are drug trafficking, extortion, corruption, fraud, trafficking in human persons as well as kidnapping. The Effects of money laundering on society include an increase in criminal activities, it undermines democracy, money laundering facilities corruption and crime, economic distortion and instability, loss of control of economic policy, undermining the integrity of financial markets, risks to privatization efforts as well as tarnishing of the reputation of country and financial institutions.
Parenting as a tool to curb money laundering
On parenting, Anaughe frowned that most parents are too busy to instill values in their children which is worrisome. “Parenting is one of the ways we address the issue of money laundering. Our advocacy centre, Warien Rose is doing its best in this regard.
“Most parents do not question the sources of their children’s finances. We are using the Warien Rose foundation to bring back the values and at the same time encourage the government to introduce moral instruction in schools. All stakeholders including the parents, government, teachers, pastors, imams among others should play their parts in instilling morals in children.
“Parents have left their duties in the hands of the teacher and teachers are so busy in search of their daily bread.
“The role of mothers is to instill good morals in the child. And it is time for parents to stand up for their role and balance their life by making the world a better place for their children.
“The consequence of not taking care of our children is grievous. Nurturing the children is an investment that will bring back good memories”, she insisted.
In her contribution, state coordinator Civil Society Emergency intervention group, Bilikis Ayegbola, said, “This is time for all civil society to stand up and take up their responsibility because we are the voice of the people and it is important for us to look into the issue of money laundering and counter financing terrorism in our society because it is taking its toll on all economy of the state.
“Money laundering is bringing a negative image and representation to Nigeria as a country and it is affecting the mental orientation of the people. Therefore, we must reposition the mindset and re-strategise on how to curb this problem in order not to affect the younger generation.
Also, Dayo Adeyemi, founder, Catalyst Men Network Int’l , laments that money laundering makes the nation poorer. “Every Nigerian must know that money laundering should not be allowed. The impact of money laundering on the economy is devastating.