The Inter-Governmental Action Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), has advocated a holistic approach in the fight against money laundering for sustainable development.
The Director General of GIABA, Justice Kimelabalou Aba, made the call at the inauguration of the 2nd round of the four-day pre-assessment workshop on money laundering on Tuesday in Abuja.
GIABA is a specialised institution of ECOWAS responsible for the adoption and effective implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) in West Africa.
Aba, represented by Dr Bruno Nduka, Director of Programmes and Projects, GIABA, said the call became imperative to find solution to issues relating to money laundering and financing of terrorism.
According to him, money laundering leads to loss of government revenue, affects national reputation, corrupts the financial system and undermine social values.
“The weak capacity of any one state to effectively address some of these new threats translates itself into an overall weakness in the international regime of criminal justice administration.
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“Against this backdrop, combating these two scourges, as well as associated criminal activities is proving to be a challenge to the international community.
“For states with relatively weak criminal justice capacity, these challenges can sometimes appear insurmountable.
“Thus, international initiatives require countries and jurisdictions to adopt and effectively implement AML and to CFT measures, to protect member states economy from being abused.”He commended Nigeria for accepting to be evaluated in September and October 2019, to ascertain its compliance with the revised Financial Action Task Force standards.
He further said that if that is done, it would help to check the funding of armed conflicts and other criminal activities often carried out across international borders.
In a remark, the Director of NFIU, Mr Francis Usani, said the workshop is the second in a series since 2016 when the first one was held.
“The workshop will further expound the knowledge gap between AML and CFT stakeholders as they carry out their various responsibilities in complying with the statutory AML and CFT measures.
“Generally, it also geared towards ensuring that the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing in all sector of the economy are mitigated,” Usani said.