By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the federal government has identified 100 high-risk financiers of Boko Haram.
He said that these financiers have link to at least 10 different countries of the world.
Aregbesola made the disclosure at the recent 3rd Ministerial Conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing “No Money for Terror” which took place in India.
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A statement made available to Vanguard by his aide, Abdulmalik Suleiman on Sunday stated that Aregbesola was highlighting the benefits of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence
Unit (NFIU) in the fight against terrorism.
He said: “The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has played a significant role in supporting all our intelligence, security, and military services.
“The unique ability of the NFIU to work with counterparts in the region and across the world, particularly through the framework of the Egmont Group of FIUs is a key asset for our country.
“In 2019 the NFIU commenced an in-depth analysis of the financing of the Boko Haram group.
“This analysis, which took almost 18 months to complete resulted in the identification of almost 100 high-risk financiers and identified links to 10 different countries.
“The NFIU was able to build a thorough picture of the transnational sources of the group’s finance using intelligence from several countries, including our immediate neighbours, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Togo.
“Ultimately, the results of the analysis resulted in the arrest of 48 of the financiers and the ongoing prosecution of a number of them.”
Aregbesola also canvassed improved welfare for Nigerians living, studying or seeking business opportunities in India.
He made a four-point demand from the Indian government for an improved well being of Nigerians living in that country.
Aregbesola also advocated a change in the Indian Visa Policy for Nigerian Students.
“This is to allow Nigerian students have visa for study programs and not on six monthly basis which is burdensome in cost and time,” the statement added.
The Minister also canvassed for granting special visa for Nigerian businessmen and women to facilitate trade between the two nations.
He urged the Indian government to, as a matter of urgency, reciprocate Visa on Arrival policy of Nigeria in India for Nigerians visiting India.
Aregbesola, at the conference, also called for the inclusion of Nigeria as a full member of the G20 group of nations for justice and equity even as he urged India to release Nigerians who have served their terms in prisons as well as others who were detained without trial.