The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in his determination to reduce and possibly see an end to the menace of money laundering and combating of terrorism financing in Nigeria, has delivered a key note address and declared open a 3-day Capacity Building Workshop in Abuja.
The workshop is being coordinated by the Ministry of Interior for three Services under it’s supervision; which are, the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS; Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, and the Nigeria Correctional Service, NCoS, in conjunction with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU. He charged officers and participants on the need to take necessary measures to respond more effectively to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism in the country.
The Minister during his address said he noted that money laundering and the fight against violent crime are now a global problem, this is as a result of the confluence of several remarkable changes in the world markets, the growth in international trade, the expansion of the global financial system, the lowering of barriers to international travel and the surge in internationally organized crimes. He noted that all these combined, has provided the immediate source, opportunity and means for converting illegal proceeds into what appears to be legitimate funds known as Money Laundering and Violent Crime that can have devastating effects on the soundness of financial institutions and undermine the political stability of democratic Nation.
Aregbesola said that the workshop was organized to develop and enhance the collective capabilities of the security agencies to effectively tackle money laundering, terrorism and financial crimes in the country.
He said criminals used various techniques and mechanisms to obscure the ownership of illegally acquired assets and introducing illegally obtained funds into the stream of legitimate commerce allowing criminals to profit from their illegal activities which tints the financial system and create public distrust in the integrity of the system.
The Minister stated that the funds are also used to undermine economic, social and political stability through funding terrorism and terrorist related activities such as terrorism, kidnapping and banditry with other serious crime across borders which has continued to proliferate, therefore Law Enforcement Agencies and Regulators must work together to prevent, identify, punish and deter financial crimes for a stable economy and better country.
The Director Legal, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy Agba, mni, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, in her welcome address described Money Laundering and Financial Crime as a devastating monster that has destroyed the economy and political stability of many nations. She commended the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for his initiative for the workshop which is geared towards developing the capacity of Security Agencies under the Ministry.
The Acting Comptroller General of the NIS, CG Idris Isa Jere, in his goodwill message sought for more technological equipments to enhance the capacity of the Services to improve on their mandate. The Controller General of the NCoS, CG Haliru Na’Baba on his own part, said the seminar will help their mandate to combat terrorism and boost the country’s economy. In the same vein, the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, mni, in his goodwill message said that the technology developed by NFIU which is Crime Reporting and Investigation Management System (CRIMS) is an electronic means of transmitting Intelligence to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and getting feedback through the same medium, is already in use and it’s very effective and successful in reporting financial crimes.
Earlier, the Director/CEO of the NFIU, Mr Modibbo Hamman Tukur said the workshop is timely and the synergy of the Ministry of Interior and it’s Agencies is relevant to the success of any Anti Money Laundering and Combating the financing of Terrorism in Nigeria.
A number of staff of the Ministry of Interior, Officers from the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service are attending the 3- day capacity building workshop to sharpen their skill in detecting these illicit financial crimes and reducing it’s occurrence to it’s barest minimum and total eradication.
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