In October 2012, the National Assembly has passed the Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act. With it, hope may have been raised that Nigeria’s name would be taken off the list of non-compliant jurisdictions in 2013.
The Director-General of GIABA (French for Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa), Dr. Abdullahi Shehu expressed this optimism at the ongoing 18th plenary meeting of the technical Commission of GIABA in Dakar, Senegal.
“We hope that at the next Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary in February 2013, Nigeria, like Ghana, would be taken off the list of non-compliant jurisdictions and both countries taken off entirely from the FATF Public Statement in due course after the necessary on-site missions,” he said.
The director-general acknowledged the significant progress and commended the authorities of the Republic of Ghana for their tremendous efforts at addressing the strategic deficiencies in that country’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating of Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, which culminated in the removal of Ghana from the FATF list of non-compliant countries to the compliance list with a view to undertaking an on-site mission by the Africa Regional Review Group (RRG) in January 2013.
Shehu said Burkina Faso, a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), joined four other countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, which had earlier been admitted to the group.
His words: “Our FIUs have also continued to strengthen cooperation among themselves with the signing of numerous Memoranda of Understanding and staff exchange programmes. We shall continue to promote and support other FIUs to join the Egmont Group.
“In our continued efforts to strengthen the FIUs in the region, the implementation of one of our major technical assistance projects to support 13 FIUs with a AML/CFT Analytical Software has progressed according to the project plan with the installation of the software in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia and Ghana.”
Shehu added that 2012 marks the second year of the implementation of GIABA’s 2011 to 2014 Strategic Plan. “As you are already aware, this strategic plan addresses six main areas of intervention on which we will focus during the forthcoming years, namely: institutional development; compliance monitoring; research and typologies; technical support to member states; partnership with private sector and civil society; regional and international cooperation; as well as other cross-cutting issues,” he said.