The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global body that formulates standards used by countries combating money laundering (ML) and the financing of terrorism (FT). FATF’s 40+9 Recommendations and compliance mechanisms constitute a comprehensive set of measures to combat money laundering, counter-terrorism financing and facilitate cooperation between law enforcement authorities around the world. Recommendation 8 (R8), which is one of the 49 recommendations, is particularly focused on the susceptibility of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to terrorism financing abuse. When FATF revised R8 in 2016, it did away with the broad categorization of NPOs as being potentially vulnerable to terrorist abuse. The revised R8 now mandates countries to conduct a risk assessment of the non-profit sector in order to determine which NPOs are most vulnerable to terrorist abuse and also ascertain how well the extant legal frameworks and regulatory measures address those risks.
As with other countries of the world, Nigeria has taken concrete steps towards increasing compliance with FATF’s Recommendations, including R8. SPACES FOR CHANGE [S4C] has principally led the advocacy push for a correct application of R8 in Nigeria as well as greater governmental respect for civic freedoms while implementing measures framed around countering terrorism and protecting national security. The activities below chronicle the public and private initiatives in Nigeria which have moved the country closer to achieving substantial compliance with R8.