The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has given an assurance that the bank will intensify its fight against money laundering and other financial crimes in the banking sector.
He stated this at the opening session of the ‘Regional course on combating money laundering and other financial crimes’.
The event, which was organised by the West African Institution for Financial and Economic Management and had participants from the central banks, ministries of Finance and law enforcement agencies of Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana and Liberia.
Emefiele said while the apex bank had taken measures to ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system, there was still much to be done in ensuring that the sector was not used to launder money for illicit transactions.
The governor, who was represented by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Kelvin Amugo, said the apex bank was working closely with banks to ensure that proceeds of crime were not legitimise using the financial sector.
He said, “One of the core functions of the CBN is to promote a sound and stable financial system in Nigeria and combating money laundering to ensure that the financial system is safe and steady.
“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 KYC (Know Your Customer) before any account is opened.
“Also, the recent bank verification is all geared towards ensuring that the financial system is stable, to make sure that depositors in the banks are known depositors and not those that will use the banking system as a platform to carryout illegal activities.”
He added that Nigeria had also applied for membership of the Financial Action Task Force on Money, which is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 by the G-7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.
Emefiele noted that the FATF had already scheduled a visit to Nigeria later in the year as part of its procedure prior to admitting the country.
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