As part of effort to enhance the knowledge, skills and expertise of counter- terrorism financing and anti-money laundering, the Compliance Institute, Nigeria (CIN), in collaboration with Centre for a New American Security (CNAS) yesterday organised a two-day in-depth workshop for compliance officers in enhancing the knowledge and expertise of financial crime detection and prevention professionals.
LEADERSHIP reports that the workshop covered key aspects of compliance, including presentation on common typologies of North Korean sanctions evasion activities with case studies in Africa; presentation on risk indicators that governments, banks and financial institutions can use to evaluate North Korea sanctions risks posed by specific types of customers and specific types of transactions as well as presentation on sanctions compliance best practices in general.
Speaking on the unique essence of the workshop, President, Compliance Institute, Nigeria, Pattison Boleigha, said, workshop would provide an opportunity for Compliance Officers from Nigeria to gain insights into relevant international sanctions regulations, counter-proliferation finance standards, evasion typologies, and risk indicators that will assist financial institutions in detecting and preventing sanctions evasion and complying with relevant United Nations sanctions.
Boleigha said the workshop is designed to provide practical advice for compliance officers on sanctions and counter-proliferation finance standards.
He said CIN as an Institute established to encourage, promote and revive the consciousness for regulatory compliance within and outside the financial industry in the country, will continue to work towards
“Other areas of coverage include conducting due diligence into potential activities and companies and on useful open-source information on sanctions and evasion techniques.
“Not held back by the greatest challenge in compliance today, which is the lack of skilled personnel in the compliance field, Compliance Institute Nigeria (CIN) is bold on moves geared towards placing Nigeria on the global world map of compliance professionals in its content and curriculum with a global outlook.
“This could not have come at a better time, with the increased incidences of correspondence banks de-risking of African banks and sometimes entire countries due to thinning of margins and poor anti money laundering and countering terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction controls,” he added.
Earlier, representative of CNAS, Mr John Hughes, while noting that the centre is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit organisation that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies, he said it performs ground-breaking research and analysis to shape and elevate the national security and foreign policy debate in Washington and beyond.
Hughes further explained that the workshop is aimed at informing and preparing the present and future national security leaders.
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security, Mr John Hughes, said banks could be fined billions of dollars and face reputational damage if found in violation of the US Sanctions Compliance.
“We are doing this Workshop in many places around the world and there is no particular concern about financial institutions in Nigeria,’’ John enthused.
“Actually Nigeria has done a very good job of providing some of the tools and resources for their banks. You have a very competent regulator that have been active both in the region and international space, so the banks here are doing a very good job in terms of sanctions compliance,” he said.
He however urged banks to continue to do the necessary “Know Your Customers” checks so they know the sort of things their clients are into and ensure banks’ services are not misused.