The Federal Government has revealed that foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Financial Technology (FinTech) platforms, and Point of Sale (POS) operators have links to terrorism financing (TF) in the country. This was contained in a report titled ‘2022 National Inherent Risk Assessment of Terrorism Financing’ which assessed the country’s exposure to terrorism financing.
The report stated, “The findings of this report indicate that TF in Nigeria is generally associated with the use of cash. This notwithstanding, field information flowing from law enforcement investigation as well as financial data have revealed constant interactions between the use of cash by terrorist actors and financial institutions, Bureau de Change (BDC), fintech firms and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions.
“The inherent vulnerabilities of each sector were assessed by the extent to which products and services offered are found in domestic investigations or STRs in relation to TF.
“Current accounts products associated with BDC and NPO/NGOs corporate customers have been observed to be connected with terrorism financing activities. The use of bank accounts in the movement of TF funds has featured prominently in both intelligence and investigations related to TF.
“Financial data have also shown that illegal currency exchangers comingle transactions in their personal accounts as well as entity accounts held and controlled by them with that of their BDC activities”.
The assessment stated that illegal money exchangers are not regulated which provides a means of moving funds for terrorism financing.
According to reports, the assessment relied on data from security, intelligence, law enforcement agencies such as the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Other contributors to the assessment are Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Office of the National Security Adviser and the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps, amongst others.