Pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has said several money laundering frauds happen in Nigeria with the active connivance of banks and their workers.
Ribadu stated this in his keynote address at a book launch in Abuja entitled ‘Improving Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Self-protecting Theory and Money Laundering Reporting Officers’.
The book was authored by Dr. Abdullahi Usman Bello.
“Our banking system is prone to abuse by corrupt elements. As investigations reveal every now and then, almost no case of corruption occurs without the involvement of banks and bankers,” he said.
Ribadu posited that the development is not because the country is lacking in laws and regulations, but because Nigeria is lacking in issues with compliance and enforcement.
He said: “We have them in abundance. Even the EFCC Act, for example, amply tackles these issues, we also have the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, the CBN AML/CFT Regulation, 2009 (as amended), among others.
“As is often said, Nigeria is not lacking in laws but the issue is with the compliance and enforcement. It is the same with AML issues. Despite the best efforts of the anticorruption agencies, some audacious and unpatriotic elements still find room to abuse the system, despite the possible consequence”.
He advised banks to identify the risk of money laundering in relation to products, services and customers and assess such risks at every stage, adding that such risks should also be managed whether high, medium or low- risk profiling through reporting, due diligence and monitoring.
Ribadu urged the Board and management of banks to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and regulators, not only by the word of mouth but in letter and spirit.
Earlier, chairman of the occasion and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who bought copies of the books for banks and universities in Nigeria, said trends in the flow of illicit financial transactions need to be curtailed, adding that dirty money flows are proceeds of corruption and crime which must be combated.
He said as for the banks of which he superintends, there have been great efforts to support anti-money laundering policies and actions and the development will continue to tackle the menace.