Nigeria: Acting president warns of global blacklisting

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Nigerian legislators have been urged to pass an anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws by June 30, in order to avoid the “grave economic and political consequences” the country may suffer should it be blacklisted by the international Financial Action Task Force (FAFT).

Acting president, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan in a letter publicized by local reporters on Tuesday urged parliament to save the country from being blacklisted globally. According to President Jonathan, legitimate international transactions risk being frustrated while foreign investment could be driven away if the country shows no commitment to fighting the two crimes.

“International investors will be scared to invest in Nigeria and those willing to do so will request for the stringiest conditions. Nigeria’s international image will be highly dented as a country without the political will to cooperate in the global war on terror,” President Jonathan’s allegedly letter read.

The two bills were sent to parliament last year by incapacitated President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“Given this administration’s commitment to combat corruption and terror, and boost the country’s economic development, a blacklisting by FATF will no doubt seriously hamper the laudable efforts,” President Jonathan added.

Nigeria’s corruption record and its inclusion into the list of terrorist nations by the United States of America following a failed bombing attempt of an airliner in Detroit on Dec. 26 2009, by a Nigerian lad- has brought the country to the attention of FAFT.

The FATF- an inter-governmental body set up in 1989 at the G7 summit in Paris with the endeavor to develop and encourage national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, works to influence the necessary political will towards legislative and regulatory reforms against the two crimes.

On 13 January 2010, a federal court handed Vice-President Jonathan the power to carry out state affairs in the president’s continued absence.

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