How NGOs aid terrorism, illegal financial flows, by NFIU
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has called for effective regulation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to check illicit financial flows (IFFs) and terrorism financing in the country.
It argued that the use of NGOs by money launderers and financiers of terrorism in Nigeria was largely due to an unregulated environment.
NFIU’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tukur Moddibo, made the appeal yesterday in Abuja at the 2021 International Day of Charity Conference with the theme, “Legal Framework /Guidelines for Claiming Grants/Donations from Foreign Donors to NGOs, CBOs and Associations in Nigeria.”
Modibbo, who was represented by Head of Compliance and Examinations, Ibrahim Muhammed, regretted that between January and August this year, only 64 NGOs out of the thousands in the country submitted their financial reports to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML).
Disclosing that some NGOs were sometimes used as a cover to exploit grants from donor agencies, the NFIU boss noted that this development was good for the smooth running of their activities.
He said: “Even though the NFIU is not responsible for approving or rejecting grants, the fact about the source of these grants and how they ARE utilised is very important. We are advising them to register with the NFIU. Right now, out of thousands, only 64 NGOs have actually been sending their reports to the SCUML.
“The NGOs that even report are the international ones. The local ones don’t register, report or comply, and yet they want grants. Nobody will come after them. If they register, it means they are transparent. We get to see these transactions through banks.”
Moddibo, therefore, called on the organisations to come up for registration so that their true ownership could be reviewed for accountability.
President, Globaltech Empowerment Foundation, Dr. Godwin Asogbon, while commending the government for the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, charged the authorities to scrutinise activities of NGOs with a view to identifying those who take advantage of donor grants to exploit Nigerians.
Also, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, urged regulation of the NGOs’ space for development.
Represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financials, Abiodun Aikomo, the minister also sought strong collaboration for strengthening of developmental ideas.