As Nigeria war on terror nears its sixth year, efforts to dismantle terrorist financial networks remain an essential part of the Buhari administration’s strategy. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Friday inaugurated the National Sanctions Committee with the mandate to trace and freeze financial flows of terrorist funds.
The sanctions committee was set up in 2013.
Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is chairman of the committee.
Other members of the committee are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, National Security Adviser, May. Gen. Babagana Mongunu, Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.
Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Director General National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar and Director General Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit.
Malami, in his remarks assured that the committee will deliver on its mandate.
Millions in terrorists assets have been frozen across the globe with Washington saying over $140 million in some 1,400 bank accounts worldwide, an official told Per Second News in Washington.
But experts say terrorist groups have become increasingly adept at eluding detection through use of cash, sophisticated laundering operations, or legitimate front companies. Monetary practices embedded in Muslim culture, such as donating to charities and informal money-transfer centers, have compounded the difficulty in tracking down terrorist financial links.
Law enforcement efforts are further confounded by the fact that devastating attacks can be accomplished at relatively low cost.