Nigeria: meaningless headlines in the face of barbarian acts

Nigeria Rated Highly for Curbing Money Laundering reads the headline.

Can this be the same Nigeria presided over by Goodluck Jonathan, terrorised by Boko Haram and courted by the US? More than 270 young women have been kidnapped, forced into adopting a medieval religious practice and sold into slavery while their government sits around praising itself for meaningless acts. No amount of publicity for so-called good behaviour will detract from the fact that there are vast swathes of the country which are beyond the government’s control and that it cannot be bothered to search for these young women.

Kidnapped by Boko Haram, abandoned by Goodluck Jonathan

Kidnapped by Boko Haram, abandoned by Goodluck Jonathan

The accolades for the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit came during a GIABA – Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering – meeting in Niger. GIABA is the West African regional body which ensures compliance with the Financial Action Task Force‘s (FATF) 40 Recommendations.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission may be doing a good job at clearing up financial crimes on a case by case basis , but they are powerless in the face of  the large scale corruption which keeps Nigerians in check.

Nigeria’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing framework was last evaluated by the FATF in 2007, under the old ’40+9′ set of guidelines. The FATF issued new guidelines for mutual evaluations back in 2013. The fourth round of mutual evaluations will assess both the technical implementation of the 40 recommendations and how effective the implementation is. The first evaluations under the new methodology will happen in Autumn 2014. While the FATF has not yet set a date for Nigeria’s fourth mutual evaluation, hopefully the new basis will reveal more meaningful information about how effective the AML/CTF framework is.

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