Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday urged West African governments to provide adequate resources that would enable law enforcement agencies combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the sub-region.
Dogara made the call at the opening of the 28th Technical Commission/Plenary of the Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) in Abuja.
Dogara said that it was pertinent for governments to pay “due attention” to the needs of law enforcement bodies responsible for tackling money laundering and terrorism to enable them function effectively.
“Terrorists adopt the techniques usually deployed by money launderers to evade the attention of relevant authorities and to help mask the identity of their sponsors and of the terrorists who may ultimately be the beneficiaries of the funds.
“In moving their funds, terrorists may use the formal banking system, informal value-transfer systems or the oldest method of asset-transfer, the physical transportation of cash, gold and other valuables through smuggling routes.
“All these contribute to the complexity of dealing with the problem; we must make provision for adequate resources including the necessary legal framework to enable government agencies function optimally.”
He noted that current techniques adopted globally by money launderers and terrorists hampered the efforts made by enforcement agencies.
He further emphasised the need for enhanced collaboration among countries, locally and internationally, to support efforts made in combating the trend.
“There must be synergy between the impoverished countries where monies may have been stolen and laundered from and countries where considered as safe havens where these proceeds of crime are kept.
“As stated earlier, the fibres of international cooperation must be strengthened if we must win the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
“I must commend the openness and willingness of so many countries across the word that partner with Nigeria to fight corruption and return to Nigeria monies and other stolen assets.”
He further assured of Nigeria’s commitment in its fight against terrorism and vices that encourage money laundering.