The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in her two-day conference tagged ‘Exploring New Frontiers in Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering Regime through Effective Use of Data’ has said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is not showing enough commitment to fighting corruption, money laundering, and illicit financial flows.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Rafsanjani Auwal Ibrahim Musa, said, ‘[M]oney laundering has been one major act that has deprived Nigerians of living decent lives, deprived them of access to education, quality healthcare system and infrastructure because some wicked people have diverted this money through the connivance of some financial institutions in the country and the private sector. That is why it is important that we meet as stakeholders to discuss, evaluate and see the gaps that Nigeria currently has in dealing with the issues of illicit funds and money laundering’.
Musa also stated that the CBN’s role in the fight against corruption, in particular strengthening financial institution regulations, cannot be overemphasised. He noted that the CBN supervises all the banks in Nigeria and provides them with licensing therefore it must involve itself in the fight against corruption. According to him, the CBN cannot be inactive, and has to be part and parcel of government’s efforts to fight corruption, money laundering, and illicit financial flows. ‘By our observation, the CBN doesn’t seem to be interested in fighting corruption. We have not seen much commitment and involvement of the CBN in the fight against corruption especially in money laundering’, Musa noted.
The Information Manager, The Inter-Governmental Action against Money Laundering and Terrorists Financing in West Africa (GIABA), Timothy Melaye, said, ‘Money laundering takes away life and so does terrorism. To end terrorism, all sources of funding must be blocked. The terrorists must be blocked from having access to funds. All forms of funding must be blocked that will substantially reduce their power to operate; therefore, it will be easy to drastically reduce their activities if not totally eliminated’. He called on all stakeholders to work together to fight money laundering and corruption.
Photo source: Control Arms