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Countries must block finances to win fight against terrorism – Aregbesola

The Minister of  Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that to win the fight against global terrorism, countries must focus their efforts on identifying, tracing and…

The Minister of  Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that to win the fight against global terrorism, countries must focus their efforts on identifying, tracing and seizing funds, assets, and property that are used to enable terrorism.
Aregbesola stated this at the third ministerial conference on Counter-Terrorism Financing with the theme: “No money for terror”, held in New Delhi, India at the weekend.
In his speech which was made available to Daily Trust on Sunday, he said the Federal Government was using financial intelligence alongside kinetic measures to combat the scourge of terrorism in the country.
“From shadow banks, dark web cryptocurrency transactions to illegal cross-border cash couriers and unlicensed money transfer agents; the infrastructure that supports terrorism must be dismantled to deprive them of the oxygen they need to organize and perpetrate acts of terror on our citizens, our communities, and our commonwealth,” he said.
Addressing his audience, Aregbesola said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to wiping out terrorism in Nigeria, adding that security personnel have continued to take decisive action against terror groups resulting in significant numbers of combatants surrendering to troops over the past few months.
The minister maintained that the scourge of terrorism was one that has continued to wreak havoc across vast parts of the whole world and causing hardship for millions of people across the African continent.
“From the Horn of Africa to the Sahel region and now emerging in Southern Africa, the threat from extremist groups aligned with global terror organizations such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda requires a renewed commitment to working together,” he said.
He recalled that in May, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022.
According to him, the updated law provides new mechanisms to increase cooperation and collaboration between domestic agencies, as well as strengthens the efforts of the government to ensure that any assets, property, or funds linked to terrorists are identified and frozen through the robust implementation of targeted financial sanctions by the National Sanctions Committee has yielded great results.
“The Act formally establishes the Counter-Terrorism Coordination Centre in the Office of the National Security Advisor as the coordinating body for all counter-terror and counter-terrorist financing efforts.
“The CTC is putting in place a National Counter-Terrorism Financing Strategy which will ensure that financial investigations are at the heart of all counter-terror efforts. The strategy will also ensure that information is shared effectively across all agencies.
“The Act has also strengthened our efforts to ensure that any assets, property, or funds linked to terrorists are identified and frozen through the robust implementation of targeted financial sanctions by the National Sanctions Committee”, he said.
The minister acknowledged the partnership of the Government of India on Counter-Terrorism collaboration with Nigeria which resulted in the hosting of the 1st National Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism, the first involving National Security Advisers from Africa.
The “No money for terrorism” conference is being organised by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi under the supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).