Foreign non-governmental organizations, banks, financial technology companies, and operators of point-of-sale terminals have all been linked to terrorism financing in the country.
On Tuesday, Newsmen got a report issued by the Federal Government through its Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit stating this.
The 2022 National Inherent Risk Assessment of Terrorism Financing in Nigeria report, which examined the nation’s exposure to terrorism financing threats, defined the affected NGOs as those operating in terror-prone areas and engaged in humanitarian work, service provision, and religious activities.
“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, fintech firms, and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions,” the report read in part.
“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 Bureau De Change and NPOs/NGOs corporate customers have been observed to be connected with TF 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 the 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.”
According to the report, security agency investigations have uncovered consistent linkages between the use of cash by terrorist actors and financial institutions, bureau de change, fintech companies, and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions.
According reports, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit report relied on information from intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Department of State Services, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, and various regulatory and supervisory agencies.
The Corporate Affairs Commission, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Initiative, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Office of the National Security Adviser, and the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering also contributed to the report.
Nigeria has fought insurgency for the past ten years. In the country’s north-eastern region, the war has claimed numerous lives and displaced tens of thousands of people.