Dogara Calls for Effective Networking, Global Collaboration in Tackling Money Laundering

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, called for an effective networking and collaboration of all countries of the world in tackling the scourge of money laundering and terrorism financing.
Dogara also called upon developed countries of the West and America to stop providing a safe haven for stolen funds from poor impoverished countries of Africa, including Nigeria.
He gave the charge in Abuja, while declaring open the 28th Technical Commission and Plenary of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in Africa (GIABA).
“We must realise as stakeholders that the criminals have globalized their activities and are now connecting across the globe seamlessly whilst the enforcers of the laws are hampered in no small measure due to lack of effective international cooperation and collaboration.
“There must be synergy between the impoverished countries where monies may have been stolen and laundered from and countries where considered as safe havens where these proceeds of crime are kept.
“As stated earlier, the fibres of international cooperation must be strengthened if we must win the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”
He commended the openness and willingness of so many countries across the word that are partnering with Nigeria to fight corruption and return to Nigeria’s monies and other assets that have been stolen and stashed away in their jurisdictions.
He said Nigeria is opened to forms of cooperation permissible under the law and also in line with prevailing global best practices which could be expressed in unhindered Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) information exchange, or request for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
He however charged African leaders to accord necessary support to agencies of government that are saddled with the responsibility of preventing and combating money laundering and terrorism, “By making provision for adequate resources including the necessary legal framework to enable them function optimally”.
He thanked the organiser (GIABA), for bringing together the best minds and experts on the subject of anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism, adding that the National Assembly is ready and willing to pass relevant laws that would checkmate activities of money laundering and other transnational crimes.
In his remarks, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, told the gathering that Nigeria has taken several steps in curtaling money laundering activities, including the implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Single Treasury Account among others, which according to him has helped in blocking leakages in the governing system of Nigeria.
Malami, who was represented by Sylvester Imhanobe, Special Assistant to the AGF on Research and Special Projects, added that the administration has equally taken other bold steps to, “Restructure the institutions and strengthening laws in order to maximize prosecution and conviction of offenders, increase recovery of stolen assets and guarantee transparent management of recovered, returned or repatriated assets.
On his part, GIABA Director-general, Col. Adams Coulibaly, commended Nigeria’s President, Muhhamadu Buhari for his commitment in promoting the values of integrity and good governance as well as his relentless fight against the scourges of transnational organized crime.
He welcome the recent directives to freeze all accounts not connected with the BVN and urge the administration to complement it by giving autonomy to the Financial Intelligence Unit in line with the requirements of the Egmont Group and the International FATF community

Author: News Editor

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