In a resolute commitment to eradicating illicit financial crimes, the Federal Government of Nigeria, led by Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has underscored its determination at the 40th Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Plenary Meeting held in Abuja.
Since 2021, Nigeria has proactively taken substantial measures to fortify its national anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/TF) legal framework.
Attorney-General Fagbemi highlighted pivotal legislative reviews in 2022, including the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, and the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act.
The sustained investment in combating money laundering has yielded commendable results, evidenced by a surge in investigations, prosecutions, and convictions.
Since 2021, Nigeria has witnessed 5,118 investigations, 1,509 prosecutions, and nearly 500 convictions, leading to the seizure of over N45 billion in illicit proceeds.
Attorney-General Fagbemi commended the exemplary work of GIABA in the sub-region and urged intensified efforts to curb illicit financial crimes.
Emphasizing the broader significance of regional and international collaboration, he stressed the need for collective action against threats such as illicit financial flows and terrorism.
Mr. Modibbo Haman Tukur, GIABA National Correspondent and Director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), highlighted Nigeria’s significant reforms in the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) regime.
The comprehensive AML/CFT architecture has garnered substantial support from the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary.
The Director General of GIABA, Mr. Edwin Harris Jnr, urged member States to establish a mechanism deterring profits from criminal activities.
Proposing an expanded mandate for GIABA, he emphasized the imperative need to address emerging trends and current realities in the fight against Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and other transnational crimes.