The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has taken necessary steps to prevent the Nigerian banking sector from being used to launder money and other illegal activities.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele made the assurance at the opening of the Regional Course on “Combating Money Laundering and other Financial Crimes’’ in Abuja.
The course, organised by the West African Institution for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), drew participants from central banks, the ministry of finance and law enforcement agencies of Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and Liberia.
Safe and solid
The CBN’s Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Mr Kelvin Amugo who represented the apex bank governor, said the bank was working closely with operators in the banking sector to ensure that ill-gotten-gains of crime were not legitimised through the financial sector.
“One of the core functions of the CBN is to promote a stable financial system in Nigeria and combat money laundering to ensure the financial system is safe and solid.”
“Because of that, we have embarked on a number of initiatives, we have issued circulars to Security Compliance Officers at banks; we have also issued circulars on the importance of Know Your Customer (KYC) before any account is opened,’’ he said.
According to him, the recent BVN is geared towards ensuring that the financial system is stable and also aimed to prevent those that will use the banking system as a platform to carry out illegal activities.
He added that the apex bank had supported the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Financial Intelligent Unit, which were strategic to fighting money laundering.
He revealed that Nigeria had also applied for membership of the Financial Action Task Force on Money (FATF).
FATF is an intergovernmental organisation, founded in 1989 by the G7, to develop policies to combat money laundering.