The governments of Nigeria and Switzerland on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to cutting off sources of funding for terrorism activities in Nigeria and West Africa in general.
The Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, who represented the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Switzerland in Nigeria, Hans-Rudolf Hodel, made this commitment during the opening of the training workshop on “Countering the Financing of Terrorism in Nigeria” in Abuja.
The workshop which is an initiative of the West African anti-money laundering group, GIABA, with the support of both the Swiss Confederation and the Nigerian government, had in attendance West African anti-money laundering agencies, governors of central bank of West African states as well as experts in countering terrorists financing.
Ambassador Umohoibhi, while speaking, restated the commitment of the Nigerian government to take all necessary steps to choke off any avenue of funding to terrorist activities, which would form one of the tools in ending the crisis.
He noted that the preponderance of cash economies, together with weak financial control among many other variables makes collaboration with major global financial centres to counter terrorism financiers inevitable.
The ambassador also said Nigeria is committed to working to improve its national response to security within the country, and to that end, it was collaborating with sister countries and multi-lateral organizations. Besides that, the laws on anti-corruption were strengthened with the signing into law the Terrorism and Money Laundering Bills by the National Assembly.
In his remarks, Ambassador Hodel condemned all acts of terrorism, assuring that the Swiss government has since 1998, through its due diligence law removed the veil from its banking secrecy as part of measures to expose politically exposed persons who brings questionable monies into the country’s banking system.
He said, “It is a core interest of the Swiss financial sector that financial hubs are not misused to launder money and to finance terrorism. Swiss laws and procedures to combat money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism are effective means of keeping out illicit funds of politically exposed person.