Executive Director of CISLAC, Rafsanjani Auwal Ibrahim Musa, revealed this at the opening of a two-day conference titled: Exploring New Frontiers in Nigeria’s Anti Money Laundering Regime through Effective Use of Data in Abuja.
According to Rafsanjani, the conference was organized to assess the level of Nigeria’s effort in coping with problems of illicit financial flows and money laundering.
He added that if the CBN as the regulator of all financial institutions in our nation was effective, the type of looted funds being recovered abroad would not be stolen in the first place.
His words, “Money laundering has been one major act that has deprived Nigerians of living decent lives, deprived them of access to education, quality healthcare system and infrastructure because some wicked people have diverted this money through the connivance of some financial institutions in the country and other private sectors.
“That is why it is important that we meet as stakeholders to discuss, evaluate and see the gaps that Nigeria currently has in dealing with the issues of illicit funds and money laundering.
“You are very much aware of the kind of money that has been taken out of the country, lying in various banks in America, Europe, the United Kingdom as well as even Dubai. If we don’t bring in some legal instruments that can enforce and prevent people from siphoning this money, there is no way you will be able to have finances for development, realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fix the issue of inequality in the country, deal with the issues of terrorism. Because some of this money end up financing terrorism.
“So if you want to deal with issues of terrorism, then you must deal with the issues of illicit financial flow and money laundering because it’s through these they finance all kinds of criminal activities that threaten the corporate existence of our country.”
“The role of CBN in the fight against corruption in particular, strengthening financial institution regulations cannot be overemphasized. The CBN supervises all the banks in Nigeria, provide them with the licensing and what have you, therefore, they must be involved in the fight against corruption. They cannot be inactive, they have to physically be part and parcel of government’s efforts to fight corruption, money laundering and illicit financial flow.
“By our observation, the CBN doesn’t seem to be interested in fighting corruption. We have not seen much commitment and involvement of the CBN in the fight against corruption especially in money laundering.”