Ibrahim Lamorde, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has stated that currency declaration by travellers out of Nigeria amounted to $12.058 billion in three years. He made the disclosure in Abuja at the opening ceremony at the opening ceremony of a five-day inter-agency training programme on, Cross Border Financial Investigation organized by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
It was organised for officers of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF; Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS; Nigeria Customs Service, NCS; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and the EFCC. Lamorde said currency declaration in 2012 was $9.9 billion. In 2013, it dropped to $1.324 billion as Nigeria stepped up surveillance at the airports.
“There was a further drop in 2014 as currency outflows recorded an all- time low of $807,585,061.70″. He called for improved financial intelligence gathering by the anti-graft agency and other law enforcement agencies in the country to check flow of illicit funds, if the war on terror must be won.A reputable strategy to fight insurgency is to deprive the insurgents of funds, because there is no dispute that illicit funds movement across borders fuels organized crimes, including terror attacks and insurgency in Nigeria,” Lamorde said.
According to him, “There is an urgent need to strengthen our financial intelligence architecture to enable us effectively monitor cash trails and check illicit cash flow to organized criminal gangs.”
“Up till now, the major concern in the fight against insurgency is on how the insurgents fund their operations within the sub-region. While tremendous progress has been recorded in strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and the Compliance Regime in Nigeria, monitoring the movement of cash outside the financial sector, remains a major challenge, because of Nigeria’s predominantly cash-based economy,” he said.
The EFCC boss, also applauded the commitment of the United States government in assisting Nigeria surmount its contemporary challenges through institutional development.