Financial Action Task Force Grey List: EFCC, NFIU Step Up Exit Plan

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Abdulazeez Abdulwahab 

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU), on Wednesday, 20 March, 2024 mapped out fresh strategies geared towards Nigeria’s exit from the Financial Action Task Force, (FATF)’s Grey List.

The strategies arose from a courtesy visit of the Director and Chief Executive Officer of NFIU, Hafsat Abubakar Bakari to the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede at the Commission’s corporate headquarters.

Bakari,  in her speech,  stated that the visit was driven by a kindred spirit, the need for stronger bridges of relationship and the FATF challenge. “Our visit today is a recognition of the shared history and a step towards building the foundations of a stronger partnership. We are also here to discuss the steps we need to take together to ensure that Nigeria exits from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force in the near future.”

In a presentation, the NFIU’s boss outlined the various intelligence-generating and sharing modalities her Unit has undertaken to serve relevant agencies across the country. She also laid bare how the NFIU has been enforcing compliance obligations of reporting entities to it. She pledged greater effectiveness and integrity of intelligence to tackle corruption, insecurity, banditry,  terrorist financing and other threats to the peace and progress of the nation.  “I assure the Commission that we will continue to carry out our assignments with utmost integrity and effectiveness”, she said. 

Olukoyede in his remarks assured her of EFCC’s total involvement and commitment in all that is needed towards the exit. “We are together in this. The EFCC has been playing a major role in driving the exit action plan. And I assure you that we will not rest on our oars, not necessarily to satisfy the international community alone but for the overall growth and development of our nation.  

“Foreign interests alone must not drive us to do what is right but the interest of our country. We should always do what is right at all times, not just to satisfy any foreign interests but because right is right,  Let’s carry out the action plan to grow our economy.”

The FATF, February 2023, added Nigeria to its list of countries under monitoring, designated as “Grey List.” This listing required the country to implement an action plan comprising 19 items before May 2025 to avoid the greater danger of upgrading to the “Black List” which comes with dire economic consequences. 

Olukoyede expressed optimism that the combined works of the EFCC, NFIU and other relevant agencies will assist Nigeria in exiting the grey list.

He reiterated his commitment towards preventive frameworks in tackling economic and financial crimes, stressing that it is cheaper to prevent corruption than to fight it.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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