By OTABONO GODDY
Pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu yesterday alleged that most of the investments that were carried out in the country were from funds earned through illegal activities.
This was as he identified illicit financial activities such as terrorism financing and money laundering as a major challenge dogging the nation’s quest for development.
Ribadu, who was speaking in Abuja at the 2nd Anti-money laundering/combating financial terrorism stakeholders’ consultative workshop organised by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, pointed out that Nigeria was yet to maximise its potential as a result of terrorism financing and other money laundering activities.
While stressing that the trend was making the country to lose huge sums of money, he said. “Everything that is wrong about Nigeria has to do with dirty money. If you can follow it, get it back and punish these people, then you have cured the problem of Nigeria.
“When I look around, I see a lot of investments done with dirty money. Government needs help in identifying and arresting these people. Though it may seem like a daunting task, with professionals like ACAMS, Nigeria is poised to achieve this”.
Ribadu said there was a need for collaboration between relevant stakeholders to fight money laundering and curb terrorism financing.
He called for the building of a strong anti-graft institution to spearhead the fight against money laundering, adding that the restructuring of the banking sector had helped to restore confidence in the Nigerian economy.
“In 2003, Nigeria was on the blacklist of most developed countries especially the US for money laundering,” said the EFCC chairman.