Stakeholders support action against terrorism financing

Bisola David
Bisola David
Stakeholders support action against terrorism financing

A wide range of stakeholders from different industries have pushed for policies that would stop money from flowing to terrorist groups through nonprofit organizations.

According to the Punch, the discussion was held at the recent Banks and Civil Society Conference in Lagos, which was hosted by Spaces for Change and had as its theme, “Improving the Implementation AML/CFT Requirements Applicable to Non-Profit Entities by Banks and Other Financial Institutions.”

The Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in Africa’s Ex-Director of Evaluation and Compliance, Buno Nduka, stated in his Keynote Address that the main goal of the conference was to bring together all parties involved in supporting NPOs so that they are not used as a front by criminals to finance terrorism.

Nduka claimed that Nigeria has already taken action in this regard, having identified ten kinds of non-profit organizations that may be categorized as non-profit organizations at danger of being funded by terrorism.

“NPOs and the countries in which they operate should take certain measures that are prescribed by the Financial Action Task Force, an international practice,” Nduka added.

He stated that governments and institutions were expected to take specific actions based on the risk assessments, such as using risk-based techniques to track the development of different stakeholders’ and regulators’ ability.

The Executive Director of Spaces for Change, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, emphasized that the conference’s goal is to improve cooperation between banks and nonprofit organizations.

She stated, “The goal of the conversation is to address regulatory obstacles that non-profit organizations face in banking transactions and find ways to mitigate them without impeding their legitimate activities.”

Since the 9/11 attacks in the United States of America, there has been international interest in the potential risk that non-profit organizations could be abused with terrorism financing, but perceptions have changed over time, according to Director and Senior Consultant at Greencare Group United Kingdom, Ben Evans.

NPOs may be misused for financing terrorism, a 2014 investigation claims, despite the lack of any indication of vulnerability or systematic concerns.

According to Evans, the report advised nations to evaluate the risks of terrorism financing within their own borders and recognize that not all non-profit organizations are vulnerable to this danger.

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