Monday, January 25, 2021

Nigeria tightening anti-money laundering fight, ICPC tells UN

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The Federal Government is committed to  strengthening its anti-money laundering regime to stop    those  sabotaging the country’s  anti-corruption crusade, according to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission  on Wednesday.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, said this  during the  meeting of  the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria.

He also  said  Nigeria was committed to ensuring the speedy passage into law of the Proceeds of Crime Bill, Mutual Legal Assistance Bill and the Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill.

He said, “Nigeria is also prioritising our anti-money laundering regime and strengthening the processes. We will sustain proactive updating of Designated Financial Institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions to stay ahead of criminal elements.

“To streamline our programmes for optimal delivery, Nigeria has energised the processes for management of recovered assets across relevant agencies to improve transparency and accountability.

“Recovering the proceeds of corruption will not only boost the public confidence in the fight against corruption, but also ensure that   the resources for critical social initiative programmes benefit the poor and vulnerable.”

Related: ICPC: Nigerians Pay N400 Billion Bribes Annually

Owasanoye added,  “We strongly believe that the gap between confiscated and returned assets will be addressed when state parties begin to give practical effects to all our commitments and obligations stipulated in UNCAC.”

According to him, following the conclusion of its implementation review, Nigeria has adopted a comprehensive remediation plan to address the identified gaps and vulnerabilities.

The ICPC chief  said the remediation plan was to ensure sustainability as well as strategic linkage to the overarching national development plan as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said, “The remediation plan is also being applied to strengthen the implementation of our obligations in Chapter V of UNCAC dealing with asset recovery.

“Some of our actions, in this regard, include ensuring the speedy passage into law of the Proceeds of Crime Bill, the Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, and the Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill which will augment the existing Whistle-Blower compensation policy.”

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