Closing of the Regional Workshop on the Development of Effective Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Structures and Frameworks (LBC / FT) through Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs)
The Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) organized a regional workshop on developing effective frameworks and structures for combating money laundering and terrorist financing (AML) / FT) through Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Abuja, Nigeria, from 4 to 6 April 2018.
The three-day workshop, which brought together 44 delegates, was aimed to raise awareness and develop a common understanding among stakeholders for effective and proportionate responses to terrorist financing risks across the NPO sector; discuss relevant standards and exchange best practices in the relationship with the NPO sector; and strengthen coordination and collaboration between relevant government agencies and the NPO sector.
The opening ceremony was attended by Mrs. Stella Maduka, member of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC), who represented the Federal Minister of Finance; Mr. Francis Usani, GIABA National Correspondent and Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Nigeria (NFIU); and Mr. Kimelabalou ABA, Director General of GIABA.
In his welcome address, Mr. Francis Usani said that under the AML / CFT, Nigeria will undertake profiling of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) present in the country, to ensure their compliance with AML/CFT regulations. He also stressed that profiling would address the shortcomings of some NGOs. Those NGOs that may be found wanting in serious ways could be de-registered.
In his opening speech, Mr. Kimelabalou ABA, Director General of GIABA, reiterated the role of NPOs in socio-economic development. However, he stressed the vulnerability of the sector due to their extensive networks, large though ephemeral labor force and their massive cash operations. In this regard, he indicated that in order to address certain challenges related to the implementation of FATF Recommendation 8 and other related issues, GIABA has made arrangements to assist member States in strengthening their capacity to effectively combat terrorist financing and improve the supervision and/or monitoring of the NPO sector.
At the end of the proceedings, the participants made the following recommendations:
- Sustain technical support to the sector and undertake an advocacy visit to the national authorities on the need for countries to develop a centralized electronic database on NPOs;
- Continue organizing regional workshops for stakeholders in the NPO sector and participate in national workshops.
To governmental / national authorities:
- Conduct a holistic sector review of NPOs to better identify NPOs at-risk, and implement a risk-based approach in the oversight and regulation of NPOs;
- Ensure that steps taken to protect the NPO sector from misuse for terrorist purposes do not interrupt or discourage legitimate charity activities;
- Strengthen/establish a competent authority dedicated to monitoring and supervision of NPOs, and also ensure that clear procedures are established to respond to international requests relating to NPOs suspected of terrorist financing;
- Strengthen information in the NPO sector in order to educate and raise awareness about the vulnerabilities of NPOs and also build trust with operators;
- Mobilize and involve NPOs in risk assessment;
- Strengthen cooperation and collaboration with self-regulatory organizations (SROs) in the management, monitoring and regulation of the NPO sector.
To national networks/platforms of NPOs:
- Develop a risk assessment matrix to facilitate the sectoral evaluation of NPOs;
- Strengthen regional cooperation within the framework of the regional CSO forum on AML/CFT to facilitate the exchange of experiences, the development and dissemination of best practices within the sector, and also strengthen coordination with GIABA in support of regional AML/CFT efforts;
- Independently or in collaboration with the relevant competent authorities, raise awareness, conduct a sectoral risk assessment, and generally, promote and enforce compliance of members with the requirements of Recommendation 8 and other regulatory expectations.
At the end of the workshop, the Director of Programs and Projects expressed, on behalf of the Director General of GIABA, Judge Kimelabalou ABA, GIABA Secretariat’s appreciation to the participants.