From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
Nigeria has been recommended for membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Ad Hoc Group on Membership (AHGM) had in its report presented on June 26, 2014 to the FATF Plenary holding from 25 to 27 June 2014 in Paris recommended four countries, Nigeria Israel, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia for the FATF membership. Nigeria, the only membership candidate from Africa was recommended based on the size of its economy, extent of implementation of AML/CFT
measures, involvement in GIABA work and high political commitment to advancing the implementation of AML/CFT regime of acceptable international standard.
In his statement, Director General of GIABA, Mr. Adama Coulibaly expressed GIABA’s appreciation to the Ad Hoc Group on Membership for recommending Nigeria for membership of the FATF.
He noted that Nigeria plays a major role in the affairs of GIABA and has been one of the regional champions mentoring other member States in the development of their AML/CFT systems.
According to him, Nigeria is the largest contributor to the budget of ECOWAS, the parent body from which GIABA derives its budget, thus facilitating the effective operation of GIABA. According to the Director General, “GIABA is fully convinced that Nigeria’s membership of the FATF will definitely assist in advancing the frontiers of robust AML/CFT measures in West Africa. GIABA has been in constant engagement with Nigeria and the country has demonstrated commitment at all levels (political, operational/technical) to ensure that its AML/CFT regime is in line with acceptable international standards”. In a formal statement made by Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, Chairman of the Nigeria Presidential Committee on FATF on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Justice/Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria pledged its political commitment towards the ideals of FATF and the continued involvement of Nigeria in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF will engage with Nigeria to ensure its formal admission. FATF is the global body that sets standard for anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts.