In November 2023, the IIJ conducted a National Training on Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) for Nigerian Practitioners, the first country-specific programme within the framework of the IIJ’s ongoing efforts to assist the countries of West Africa in strengthening their CFT systems. This Nigeria program was the most recent in a series of regional workshops implemented since 2021 with generous funding from Germany.
The training brought together key Nigeria CFT actors, including representatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice and state-level ministries and investigation centers, Department of Public Prosecutions, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigeria Police Force, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Nigeria Immigration Service (DSS), Department of State Services (DSS), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Joining these Nigerian national actors were civil society organisations, academia and international organisations implementing their respective projects in Nigeria, including United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Attorney General Alliance (AGA-Africa).
Over three days, the participants discussed key deficiencies in Nigeria’s CFT system set forth in FATF evaluations and identified ways to address them in line with priority areas outlined by the Nigeria CFT Strategy and Action Plan. These included gaps in interagency cooperation procedures and public-private dialogue on CFT, safeguarding the non-profit sector and DNFBPs from abuse by terrorist organisations, regulation of virtual assets service providers, border security implications on CFT, as well as existing procedural and regulatory challenges for effective investigation and prosecution of terrorist financing cases.
The training helped the participants identify next steps they need to take to improve CFT regulation and supervision of high-risk sectors, and provided them with advanced insights on specific challenging issues, such as conducting parallel investigations and working in joint investigative teams; sharing, storing and analysing evidence in investigations of terrorist financing; digitalization and improving case management systems; making appropriate charging decisions in prosecution of terrorist financing; asset recovery and management of seized items, including virtual assets; improving outreach to private sector; and implementing gender mainstreaming policies at workplaces.
The IIJ will continue working with Nigerian authorities, helping to improve CFT mechanisms in the country and in the whole West African region.