Experts have stressed the need to improve compliance culture in Nigeria’s financial sector.
They spoke at the 6th induction and investiture ceremony of the Compliance Institute for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria in Lagos.
Edwin Harris, director general of Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, spoke on compliance in the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory environment. He said the AML/CFT programme is one key means for protecting businesses from illicit money and fines for regulatory non-compliance.
One of the reasons he gave for the poor AML/CFT compliance was the rapid increase in the complexity and volume of new regulations which make compliance an uphill task for many businesses, particularly the small and medium-sized enterprises.
“In order to entrench a culture of effective AML/CFT compliance, regulatory policymakers need a clear understanding of the nature of different policy instruments, of the habits of the regulated businesses, and of the regulatory context,” Harris said.
He said strengthening partnership and collaboration between regulators, supervisors and reporting entities in the AML/CFT regulatory environment is another creative way to grow a voluntary compliance culture.
Pattinson Boleigha, president of Compliance Institute, Nigeria, said the event is another step towards actualising their efforts at instilling discipline and a culture of compliance in Nigeria.
He said that after seven years of starting operations, the institute has seen an increasing number of companies embedding compliance practices in their businesses.
Speaking to the inductees, he said the skills and expertise that they gained will enhance their professional competence and enable them to secure better compliance jobs and professional dignity that will help them to provide value-adding service to their employers.
He said the institute, which inducted over 200 members that day, is aiming to have over 4,500 members by the end of 2023.
Baba Musa Yusuf, director general of West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, said if the economy backs the vision of the Compliance Institute, the economic issues facing the country will reduce to its barest minimum.
He said the lack of capacity to generate internal revenue which leads to heavy government borrowing is due to a lack of compliance by those in charge of economic affairs as well as a lack of compliance by citizens to tax payments.