Nigeria has made an appeal to the Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to create an institutional framework that will enable effective enforcement of financial crime legislation in the subregion.
During the inauguration of the 27th Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of GIABA in Abuja, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), who also serves as the Chairman of the GIABA Ministerial Committee, emphasized the importance of member nations prioritizing the implementation of national anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing systems.
Fagbemi stressed that by doing so, these nations would be able to demand optimal performance from their national institutions and make significant progress in the fight against financial crimes.
He stated, “Our collective commitment to establish legislative policies and institutional frameworks is necessary to safeguard the integrity of our financial systems from the threats of money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. As we near the completion of the second round of mutual evaluations, it is essential that we take the time for introspection and assess where we have fallen short.”
Fagbemi highlighted the need for improvement across the region in terms of the effectiveness of the AML/CFT/CPF frameworks. He emphasized the crucial role of combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and the financing of nuclear proliferation in ensuring the safety and security of African countries.
The attorney general further emphasized that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards serve as instruments to guarantee safety, security, and prosperity in nations, regions, continents, and the international community, rather than punitive measures.