Nigeria under the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, should be seen as a country that money laundering is curbed. This is because of Buhari’s campaign against corruption at all levels of social stratification in the country.
The corruption war by Buhari seems to have failed in curbing money laundering and terror financing risks, as European Commission blacklisted Nigeria as one of the countries posing threat to the European Union (EU) banks.
The move to blacklist some nations is said to be part of a crackdown on money laundering after several scandals at EU banks has been criticised by several EU countries, including Britain, who are worried about their economic relations with the listed countries.
Nigeria alongside Saudi Arabia, Panama and other jurisdictions were added by the Commission to a blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.
The list now includes 23 jurisdictions, up from 16, with the commission saying it added jurisdictions with “strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes”.
Also, newcomers to the list are Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and the four United States territories of American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.
The other listed countries are Afghanistan, North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.
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Criteria for blacklisting
Criteria used to blacklist countries for money laundering and terror financing risks, include weak sanctions against money laundering and terrorism financing, insufficient cooperation with the EU on the matter and lack of transparency about the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.
Apart from reputational damage, inclusion on the list complicates financial relations with the EU. The bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.