CBN Strengthens War Against Illicit Financial Flows In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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CBN Strengthens War Against Illicit Financial Flows In Nigeria

Posted: Aug 3, 2015 at 3:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sola Alabadan Lagos

Worried by the bad image illicit fund flows has been giving to Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intends to increase its vigilance to ensure that Nigerian banks are not used as conduits for illicit fund flows, especially in foreign currencies. 

Reacting to a recent report by the Global Financial Integrity group, which ranks Nigeria as one of the 10 largest countries for illicit financial flows in the world, the CBN states that even though it doesn’t have an independent confirmation of this assertion, the report gave a cause for concern as it estimates that about US$15.7 billion of illicit funds go through our system annually.

While pointing out that such a negative commentary was avoidable, the apex bank drew the public’s attention to several protocols on illicit fund flows, money laundering, and terrorism financing both in Nigeria and around the world, warning that it would henceforth increase its vigilance to stop the nefarious activity.

CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Muazu added “We note and applaud that in line with global best practice, Nigerian banks have started to curtail the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits, much the same way as customers in other countries cannot just walk into banks and make foreign currency cash deposits without proper documentation.

“We wish to assure all citizens seeking foreign currencies for legitimate personal and/or business interests that there remains ample opportunity to do so within the law. The CBN’s Foreign Exchange Rules have many windows for accessing foreign exchange for legitimate business as well as for personal commitments including payment of medical bills, school fees, mortgages, demand notes and other bills. Also, Bureaux de Change (BDC) services to small-scale users remain valid as long as this is to meet genuine needs, and BDCs’ documentations to the CBN include the customer’s Bank Verification Number (BVN).

He emphasised that “The CBN will continue to support the Federal Government’s fight against money laundering, corruption, and terrorism financing and will block any and every avenue that may be used for these purposes.”