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Nigeria says 123 companies, 33 bureaux de change linked to terrorism financing

By Dennis Erezi
03 February 2022   |   4:04 pm
The Nigerian government on Thursday said it has uncovered 123 companies and 33 bureau de change service providers that are linked to terrorism financing in the country. Nigeria's information and culture minister Lai Mohammed disclosed this during a press conference on the administration’s fight against corruption in Abuja. “For its part, the analysis by the…
Nigeria

Nigeria information and culture minister Lai Mohammed, President Muhammadu Buhari, and presidential spokesman Femi Adesina. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MuhammaduBuhari

The Nigerian government on Thursday said it has uncovered 123 companies and 33 bureau de change service providers that are linked to terrorism financing in the country.

Nigeria’s information and culture minister Lai Mohammed disclosed this during a press conference on the administration’s fight against corruption in Abuja.

“For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators,” Mohammed said.

“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets. Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government.”

He said the suspects were uncovered by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

READ MORE: Nigeria identifies 96 sponsors of Boko Haram, ISWAP

Mohammed noted that the NFIU “in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators.”

He added that “the analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.

The minister disclosed that the NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping, and others with 19 countries.

Mohammed stated that from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU “identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government”.

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Speaking further, Mohammed said the NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering, and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution, and asset recovery.

During the same period, 2020-2021, the organization returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore dollar, and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country, according to the minister.

Mohammed noted that fighting corruption is a marathon, and never a sprint, adding that investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and asset forfeitures – which are the immediately visible indices by which many measure successes in tackling corruption, constitute – as important as they are – just a part of the strategies to combat corruption.