Brace up for financial challenges, EFCC, AML/CFT Forum tell NGOs, CSOs

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Coordinator, AML/CFT Forum, Nigeria and NGOs/CSOs Consortium, Barr. Efe Anaughe has called on all NGOs and CSOs to brace up to the financial challenges the country is currently facing so as to demand accountability and transparency by all government agencies and parastatals.

She spoke in line with the formation of the NGOs/CSOs Consortium set up to form a formidable force against all forms of misappropriation and criminal activities in the country.

At a seminar jointly organised by ECOWAS, the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, the Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Office, Ahmed Ghali, said that Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have critical roles to play in curbing money laundering and terrorism financing in Nigeria.

Delivering a paper entitled: The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations in Countering Terrorism Financing in Nigeria, Ghali stressed the law will not spare any NGO/CSO that allows itself to be a tool for perpetrating money laundering or terrorism financing in Nigeria.

In a related development, Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy, the first female Mass Communications Professor produced by the University of Lagos during the Meet and Greet Buffet Lunch, the maiden edition for the NGOs/CSOs Consortium, disclosed the formation of the group is expected for more collaboration and cooperation.

“We should have people who will give us situation reports in different places and with us, we will know what the problems are and begin to design templates to address the situation. It calls for collaboration for synergy within the consortium.

“There is a STEM problem and we should be talking about digital marketing skills in terms of customer care. There are lots of issues to address including how we can move our products from hinterlands to the cities.

“People should begin to beam searchlights on functional skills. We should have NGOs that can encourage organisations to address some salient issues in the economy. SMEs are the engines for growth and the government cannot do all that. The only thing is for people to canvass for the government to give an enabling environment including electricity, roads among others.

“We have to act on this consortium and balance the economic growth and human development.  We need to pay detailed attention to the implementation of the budget as NGOs and CSOs. We should also be canvassing for gender balancing. The president must be deliberate in the inclusion of government.

Speaking on the Consortium, Barr. Efe Anaughe, who is also the President, Warien Rose Foundation, said the consortium is to network and foster love among the NGOs and CSOs as well as share information to grow and stand as a unit adding that, it is a global initiative.

“We network on how to register our organisations, to get grants and conduct ourselves. Our expectation is that in the next nine years, the country will achieve its targets of the United Nations objectives, the SDG goals.

“We have about 165 NGOs in the consortium. We are hoping to see realistic goals and approach our problems and challenges. Most NGOs have challenges with finance and we are partnering with ECOWAS, United Nations and Lagos State Government to ensure that the SDG goals are achieved,” she said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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