Experts in the financial Institution and Designated non Financial Businesses and Professions, DNFBP have gathered in Lagos to discuss ways to combat financing of terrorism in Nigeria.
The 3 day gathering organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA aims at strengthening the capacity of the participating stakeholders to effectively contribute to the ongoing national and regional efforts against terrorism and terrorist financing.
The Director of Programmes and Project GIABA, Buno Nduka says financial institutions play important roles in global security and development.
Nduka said; ”the complexity, nature of services/products provided and the international nature of the financial sector makes it vulnerable to abuse or risk of terrorist financing.”
He therefore urged stakeholders in the private sector ” to observe global standards against money laundering and terrorist financing, including customer due diligence, transaction monitoring, identification and reporting of suspicious transactions to detect as well as prevent the flow of funds to terrorists and terrorist organisations.”
Nigeria, Niger and Mali are some of the countries currently experiencing widespread of threats from terrorist and extremist groups which is undermining regional peace, stability and integration.
In the regard, the Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer of Access Bank Plc, Pattison Boleigha said there was need to cut off the flow of funds to these groups by engaging financial institutions and DNFBP given their huge size and integration with the regional financial system.
He said “the participants will be discussing the vulnerabilities and consequences of Terrorism Financing on reporting entities, build capacity of participants on relevant Counter Financing Terrorism standards and share related good practices to enhance implementation as well as make policies that would effectively guide transactions in the sector.”
GIABA is a unit under ECOWAS with the responsibility to create awareness in the fights against anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism.
It also provides technical support to member States to address observed deficiencies in counter financing terrorism regime.