Money Laundry: EFCC beams light on NGOs, asks each to produce list of IDPs

Nigeria’s anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has this week ordered non-governmental organisations in Borno state to produce lists of internally displaced persons they are providing  care.

This move is part of Steps being taken by the Nigerian government to prevent any form of money laundering and other related sharp practices likely to be perpetrated by crooked organisations or individuals within the humanitarian circle.

It’s been reported that the EFCC had in 2019 outlawed any unauthorised movement of cash by NGOs from the metropolis states in Northeast Nigeria to the hinterlands in the name of providing for IDPs.

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The EFCC Zonal office in Maiduguri, Borno state capital is now asking the humanitarian organisations – both local and international – to furnish the commission with the lists of beneficiaries of the funds provided for by local and international donors.

The Commission made this known at an interactive session the zonal office had with the Nigeria INGO Forum in Maiduguri on Wednesday.

In a press statement signed by the head of media and publicity of the commission, Wilson Uwajaren on Wednesday, and obtained by The Humanitarian Times, the commission said “the purpose for demanding the list of beneficiaries is in government’s effort to stem money laundering and end corruption in the country”.

‘‘The lists required from the INGOs and NGOs will enable the EFCC through the SCUML, identify and verify the actual beneficiaries of the palliatives and cash provided by donors so that the funds will not get into the hands of wrong persons during disbursement,” Uwajaren said.

‘‘Our engagement with the INGOs is to ensure and enforce compliance with the regulations and laws against money laundering and to combat financiers of terrorism activities and this can only be achievable through proper identification of the beneficiaries of the Aids flows provided by the INGOs,” the statement explained.

In September 2019, the EFCC announced that all not-for-profit organisations moving cash in the North-east must secure clearance from the commission.

On May 6, 2021, the Northeast zonal office of the commission paid a courtesy call to the Theater Command Operation Hadin Ka, in Maiduguri, where it reiterated its commitment to ensuring financial discipline amongst the humanitarian workers in the region.

Head of the EFCC Maiduguri office, Uwajaren, sought for synergiesy between the Commission and the military command in ensuring no money meant for IDOs is laundered elsewhere.

During that May 2019 visit, the EFCC official said “Theatre Command is a very critical stakeholder in the fight against corruption and the role it plays is enormous.

“Therefore, it is necessary and important for the Nigerian Army to join hands with us to end insurgency in Nigeria by identifying and cutting off the source of financing for the insurgents.

”We want to equally inform you that in carrying out our mandate the Commission ensures that movement of cash by Non-Governmental Organisations across the local governments in Borno, Yobe and some part of Adamawa states must be approved by the Zonal Office”.

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