Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, says some security challenges bedevelling Nigeria can be solved if the financial lifeline of terrorists are cut off.
Aregbesola spoke on Friday in Abuja at the inauguration of a 10-member inter-ministerial committee set up to implement the adoption and implementation of the assigned roles to the ministry.
The minister said the inauguration was based on the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) implementation roadmap adopted by the federal government.
He said a great deal of the security challenges facing the county in recent time could be attributed to the activities of economic saboteurs “who indulged in illegal financial dealings to the detriment of the country”.
He, however, reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in Nigeria.
“Let me reiterate the federal government’s unflinching commitment to the eradication of money laundering, financing of terrorism and related corrupt practices,” he said.
“This has made us willing and active partners with other African and indeed global partners in this advocacy and fight.
“Some of the security challenges facing the country at the moment can be resolved if the financial lifeline of the actors were cut off.
“That some of them are still in business suggests strongly that they have strong internal or external financial linkages.”
The minister added that the menace posed a serious threat to economic development.
“As money laundering undermines the legitimate private sector and the integrity of financial markets, loss of control of economic policy, causes economic distortion, instability and loss of revenue, among others,” he said.
He urged the committee to work assiduously to deliver on the terms of reference assigned to them to enable the country achieve the standards that would improve its rating by the FATF and International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).
The 10-member committee is headed by Shuaib Belgore, the permanent secretary in the ministry.
The agencies involved are the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOs) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The committee is expected to report to the minister every two weeks on progress assessment.