The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has identified financial crimes militating against national economic development to include money laundering and terrorism financing.
He therefore pledged the unflinching commitment of the Federal Government to fighting the menace with all seriousness and tenacity of purpose.
The Minister stated this on Thursday, 28 July, 2022 in Abuja, at the formal inauguration of a 10-member Inter-ministerial Committee, set up to implement the adoption and implementation of the assigned roles to the Ministry of Interior, on the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) implementation roadmap adopted by the Federal Government.
The Minister further explained that a great deal of the security challenges that Nigeria is facing today can be attributed to activities of economic saboteurs who indulge in illegal financial dealings to the detriment of the country.
“Let me reiterate the Federal Government’s unflinching commitment to the eradication of money laundering, financing of terrorism and related corrupt practices. This has made us willing and active partner with other African and indeed global partners in this advocacy and fight,” said Aregbesola.
According to Ogbeni Aregbesola, “some of the security challenges we face at the moment could be resolved if the financial lifeline of the actors are cut off. That some of them are still in business suggests strongly that they have strong internal or external financial linkages.”
The Minister promised that Nigeria will work with the International Community because this global crime is a threat to economic development; as “money laundering undermines the legitimate private sector and the integrity of financial markets, loss of control of economic policy, causes economic distortion and instability as well as loss of revenue, among other untoward consequences”.
He charged the committee to work assiduously to deliver on the terms of reference assigned to them to enable the country achieve the standards that would improve the country’s rating by the FATF and International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).
The 10-member Committee which is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, has other members drawn from Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry: the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Committee is expected to report to the Minister every two weeks for progress assessment.