ABCON Trains Members Ahead of FATF Team Visit to Nigeria

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Mr Aminu Gwadabe, has said the group would organise sensitisation workshops for over 4,500 licenced BDCs across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Addressing newsmen yesterday, Mr Gwadabe said these seminars, expected to commence in the next one week, would be put together in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

During the workshops, participants would be trained on the obligation of registering and filling reports on the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) goAML (Anti-Money Laundering) portal.

The ABCOM boss said the anti-money laundering training was intended to familiarise BDC operators with the process of money laundering, the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash, and the laws that make it a crime.

The training programme organised by ABCON is coming ahead of the annual mutual evaluation of their operations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team visiting Nigeria soon.

He said money laundering and terrorism financing pose enormous threats and challenges to the economy, security, and social life of the country, the region and the world.

Mr Gwadabe said the training was also designed to help BDCs maintain minimum standard of record keeping and increasing level of investors’ confidence for the economy.

The training, he said, will create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorism financing; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations.

Mr Gwadabe said the visit became necessary after the FATF team in February, named Nigeria  in a proposed European Union blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.

The criteria used to blacklist countries include low sanctions against money laundering and terrorism financing, insufficient cooperation with the EU on the matter and lack of transparency over the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.

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