Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit Uncovers Terrorism Sponsors

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Lai Mohammed

No fewer than 96 financiers of terrorism had been found in Nigeria with 424 associates and about 123 companies and 33 exchange bureaux following analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in 2020-2021.

This was revealed, on Thursday, by Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture of Nigeria. He added that the country’s antigraft agency—Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)—also recovered at least $750 million in local and foreign currency linked to corruption and fraud last year.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer, has struggled with endemic corruption for decades, which many Nigerians blame for the continent’s widespread poverty.

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Mohammed said the EFCC recovered N152 billion ($366 million), $386 million, and £1.1 million ($1.50 million) including digital currencies from white-collar crimes last year.

In Nigeria, the EFCC investigates and prosecutes corruption. Mohammed did not specify where the money had been recovered or from whom it had been recovered.

Based on analysis by the NFIU in 2020-2021, 96 financiers of terrorism were located in Nigeria with 424 associates and about 123 companies and 33 exchange bureaus.

“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets,” Mohammed told reporters in Abuja.

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected in his second term, in part due to his pledge to combat corruption and recover “mind-boggling” amounts of money stolen from the country.

The country has since suffered two recessions due to a sharp fall in global oil prices, which has made recovering lost funds more difficult. The majority of national income and foreign exchange comes from crude oil sales.

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