By: Darlington Omotoso

In order to stem insecurity in the country, the Federal Government has taken concrete steps towards stamping out financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made this known in Abuja, during the formal inauguration of a 10-member Inter-Ministerial Committee, on the Financial Action Taskforce, FATF, mandated to implement the roadmap adopted by the Federal Government.

The Minister decried the rising insecurity that Nigeria is faced with; stating, it can be attributed to insidious activities of economic saboteurs who indulge in illicit financial dealings detrimental of the economic development and security of the entire country.

His words: “Let me reiterate the Federal Government’s unflinching commitment to the eradication of money laundering, terrorism financing and related corrupt practices. This has made us willing and active partners with other African countries and indeed global partners in this fight,”

According to him, “most of the security challenges we face at the moment would be resolved, once the financial lifeline of non-state actors are cut off. That some of them are still in business suggests strongly that they have strong internal or external financial linkages”.

Aregbesola, pledged that Nigeria will work with the International community, because globally, crime is a threat to economic development.

Speaking further, “money laundering undermines the legitimate private sector and the integrity of financial markets, loss of control of economic policy, thereby, causing economic distortion and instability as well as loss of revenue, among other untoward consequences.

The Minister, admonished the committee to work assiduously to deliver on the terms of reference as such action will contribute significantly to ensuring that Nigeria achieves the standard that would improve the country’s rating by the FATF and International Cooperation Review Group, ICRG.

The 10-Member Committee, which is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, has other members drawn from Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry, such as, the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service and NSCDC.

Abuja Digest reports the Committee is expected to submit progress report to the Honourable Minister fortnightly.