By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, said diaspora remittances is one of the major sources of money laundering, and trafficking in persons.
Shonubi stated this on Thursday at the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), while delivering a Distinguished Personality Lecture entitled, “Diaspora Remittances and Nigeria Economic Development”.
He added that not all of the funds pass through “proper channels”.
The lecture was aimed at enriching the knowledge of 87 participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 16, who were drawn from the country, and three other African nations, for an intensive 10-month “intellectual and strategic” programme.
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“There are a lot of remittances that are not passing through those channels that people normally ascribe with remittances.
“We all know that issues of money laundering are always tied to movement of funds.
“We have a classical case where, once you mention you are a Nigerian in the US, and you want to rent a car, they are not going to give you the car to rent.
In those days, we were known for renting the cars, putting the cars in containers, and shipping the cars down to Nigeria.
“Now, that is the remittance; the source, we don’t know.
“Again, when people talk about remittances, migrant workers, I say we do have a lot of remittances, but..for us in Nigeria, it is not migrant workers.
“And the mode of remittances are very different; it’s not always in cash”, the CBN Governor said.
He continued: “It also means that there is a lot of money laundering that goes on through remittances, because of the nature of remittances that come into Nigeria. Large value.
“There is no much you can do So, it is a problem for us. And so, we are seeing situations where FinTechs in quote are now in the remittance business.
“It is good, because it brings prices down, but it has its own issues with control, and fraud, and money laundering.Yhey become a very big issue for us. Flows are important,
“Lastly, on the fraud side, I think it touches each and everyone of us. A lot of the trafficking in people, in goods, or in services, involves flow of money.And, many times, it is through diaspora remittances/channels that this takes place.
“So, you may come in contact, as you do your jobs, with people, who use those channels.It’s helpful if you can work together to identify those channels.
“We don’t want the flows to stop; we just want the flows through proper channels. Then we can get maximum benefit for it.”