By SAAD ABDULRAHEEM
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has blamed terrorism financing and money laundering as partly responsible for the country’s economic situation as he promised Federal Government’s relentless efforts to fight the menace with seriousness it deserves to improve the situation.
Aregbesola disclosed this during the inauguration of the inter-ministerial committee to implement the adoption and implementation of the assigned roles of the Ministry of Interior in the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) implementation roadmap adopted by the Federal Government.
He also revealed that most of the security challenges we face today are traced to activities of the enemies of Nigeria who indulge in illegal financial dealings at the detriment of the country.
“Let me reiterate the Federal Government’s unflinching commitment to the eradication of money laundering, financing of terrorism and related corrupt practices. This has made us willing and active partner with other African and indeed global partners in this advocacy and fight,” said Aregbesola.
He continued: “For instance, some of the security challenges we face at the moment could be resolved if the financial lifeline of the actors are cut off. That some of them are still in business suggests strongly that they have strong internal or external financial linkages.”
The minister further said that the money laundering undermines the legitimate private sector and the integrity of financial markets, loss of control of economic policy, economic distortion and instability and loss of revenue, among other untoward consequences.
He tasked the committee to work assiduously to deliver terms of reference assigned to the Ministry to enable the country achieve the standards that would improve the country’s rating by the FATF and International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).
The committee is headed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore with members drawn from agencies under the supervision of the Ministry, the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service and NSCDC. The committee will report to the Honourable Minister every two weeks for progress assessment.
Protocol Officer to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior