The Chairman of Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Larmode, has said that Nigeria’s efforts in fighting money laundering and financing of terrorism have earned the country improved rating by international agencies as well as improving Nigeria’s image before the international community. Speaking at the inaugural lecture series of DataPro, a financial consulting and rating firm, in Lagos recently Larmode, who was represented by Mr Hanafi Baba- Ahmed, said the country was among the nations at the forefront of anti money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in the world. He said that the commission will eagerly collaborate with any institution that is willing and has the capacity to work with it in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing in the country. He explained that the commission has adopted the National Strategy as a road map for the country over the next five years to address the observed weaknesses in her AML/CFT regime and implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) core and key recommendations as defined in the FATF Low Capacity Countries Guidance (LCC).

“The National Strategy document provides a coordinated approach to AML/CFT implementation and action plan that would help Nigeria address outstanding issues in its AML/ CFT mutual evaluation report with the ultimate objective of enhancing effective implementation of the country’s AML/ CFT regime. ; “The Strategy and Action Plan focus on six cardinal goals covering strategic areas of Nigeria’s AML/CFT regime, namely; promoting sustainable political will, enacting/ upgrading and implementing of robust AML/CFT legislation and regulations, establishing and strengthening of AML/CFT supporting institutions and promoting effective inter-agency cooperation and coordination mechanism. Others are ensuring effective supervision and regulation of reporting institutions and promoting effective international cooperation and strategic partnerships.”

He said the country has amended legislation on the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing and allied crimes in accordance with the FATF standards and has taken steps to put in place appropriate structures to ensure their effective implementation, “ adding that Nigeria has clearly demonstrated its commitment to subjecting itself to the mutual evaluation process aimed at facilitating effective implementation of international AML/CFT standards.”