The Federal Government (FG) through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi said it has seized over N45 billion that was looted from the country, while also disclosing that financiers of terrorism has also been identified.
He made this known during his opening address of a conference organized by GIABA, which is a special institution of ECOWAS responsible for aiding in the adoption and implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) strategies in the West African region.
In his opening address, he said, “In 2022, we increased the budgets for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by almost 95%.
“We now have over 1,500 officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting money laundering across these 3 agencies alone.
“These sustained investment has seen increased numbers of investigations, prosecutions and convictions consistently since 2021 with 5,118 investigations, 1,509 prosecutions and almost 500 convictions secured resulting in over 45 billion naira of illicit proceeds seized.
“We have also made progress in tackling the financing of terrorism and in particular, I am pleased that we have identified and designated a number of individuals and entities linked to terrorist activity and seized funds linked to them.
“The Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) has become a global model and achieved the outcomes envisaged by the passage of its enabling legislation in 2018 which established it as an independent, autonomous unit.
“The Unit has significantly expanded the scope of financial intelligence it has access to and provides to other competent authorities. The Unit has also put in place a number of innovative technologies including the Crime Records Information Management System (CRIMS) which has transformed our approach to intelligence sharing.
“The measures I have outlined and our future ambitions are underpinned by a rigorous analysis of the money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing risks we face as a country.”