Sixty (60) organizations converged in Abuja for the 3rd edition of Spaces for Change’s | S4C’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Regulatory Compliance Clinic for nonprofits in the north-central region of Nigeria held on March 10, 2021. At the Clinic, organised with support from the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), administrators, finance officers and executive directors of various nonprofits including international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) gained a deeper understanding of how AML/CFT regulations apply to their charitable operations and the steps they need to take to enhance their regulatory compliance culture.
AML/CFT experts at SPACES FOR CHANGE, joined by resource persons from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), took turns to enlighten participants about the array of money laundering and terrorism financing scenarios, risks and threats non-profits face and how to counter them by installing strong compliance practices in the workplace. The potential risks of money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF) associated with corporate transactions, including non-profit activities, informed the inclusion of non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) 49 recommendations, containing norms that guide world governments in their fight against terrorism financing and money laundering. Recommendation 8 (R8) in particular, highlights nonprofits as vulnerable to terrorism financing and therefore requires countries to review the adequacy of legal frameworks that detect, prevent and protect organisations from the risk of exploitation by terrorist elements.
Participants learned about FATF’s Recommendations and the specific provisions of national laws that stipulate compliance requirements for NPOs. Some of these laws include the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), Personal Income tax Act, 2004 (PITA), Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (2011) and Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 and the laws establishing the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, Economic Financial Crimes Commission and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit amongst other legal regimes.
The Clinic ended with numerous exercises that helped participants to deepen their knowledge of NPOs’ reporting obligations to numerous regulatory agencies and how to develop and implement AML/CFT checklists in the workplace. The huge turn out of participants numbering 60 as against an initial 26 groups projected, attests to the growing popularity of the Compliance Clinic and the increasing desire for improvements in regulatory compliance in the Nigerian non-profit sector.
SOME FEEDBACK FROM PARTICPANTS
What were the things you liked most about the Clinic?
- The training program was quite engaging and interactive.
- The session on understanding the mandates and regulatory processes of SCUML
- The opportunity to acquire more knowledge on the subject matter
- The engaging nature of the female speakers
- The topics discussed were very relevant
- Adequate response to questions asked by the participants
- The whole idea of this training is very fantastic
- The training contents and materials were very relevant for contemporary issues. The training was very interactive and very informative
- The comprehensive training modules and robust content
- The resource persons were good. The content of the training (materials) that were made available to participants.
What aspects of the training could be improved?
- Number of days for the training
- Allocation of time for each presentation and entire programme
- I believe this event should be a two-day
- The timing allocated for questioning/answering should be enlarged
- Practical sessions
How will this training influence your work practice?
- It educated me on the controls to put in place to reduce risk of money laundering in my organization
- Learnt a lot to help me in my daily work routine.
- An eye-opener on adequate steps to take to improve my work practice
- The training will help me to be more critical in my work since I work in the finance department. I will be also able to suggest internal control measure to the management.
- I will approach work with deeper and clearer understanding of the ML and TF risks my organization is exposed to.
Participating organizations include:
|1.||Centre for Youth Transformation and Community Development|
|2.||Brain a Youth Development Initiative|
|3.||Community Development Initiatives (CODIN)|
|4.||Peace and Transparent Leadership Initiative|
|5.||Justice Right Initiative|
|6.||RELIEF AND HOPE FOUNDATION (RAHF)|
|7.||INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT|
|8.||CCPPE – Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication|
|9.||Association for Community Participation in Governance|
|10.||INITIATIVE FOR GRASSROOT ADVANCEMENT IN NIGERIA|
|12.||Education as a Vaccine|
|15.||Advocates for Human Rights & Sustainable Development|
|18.||Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)|
|19.||Terra Leadership Foundation|
|20.||World Impact Development Foundation (WIDEF)|
|22.||Centre for International Technology and Development|
|27||CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION|
|28||Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering|
|34||Ideal Africa Foundation|
|36||AFRICAN CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INFORMATION DEVELOPMENT|
|40||Dorothy Njemanze Foundation|
|42.||Center for Civilians in Conflict – CIVIC|
|43.||Catholic Relief Services, Nigeria Country Program|
|44.||Action Against Hunger|
|45.||Search for Common Ground|
|46.||CBM Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V.|
|47.||Plan International Nigeria|
|49.||Jesuit Refugee Service NIGERIA|
|50.||International Alert Nigeria|
|51.||PUI NGA Head of Mission|
|52.||NRC Norwegian Refugee Council|
|54.||Reconnect Health Development Initiative|
|55.||SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria|
|57.||PUI NGA- Premiere Urgence International Nigeria|
|62.||Nigerian Governors’ Forum|