The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), says it has launched a project that will address the core problem of ‘dirty money’ in Nigerian politics.
Auwal Rafsanjani, CISLAC Executive Director, disclosed this in a forum in Lagos on Thursday.
Rafsanjani said that the project, “Strengthening Accountability among Civil Society (SANCUS)”, would underscore the important role civil society organisations (CSOs) play in holding government accountable.
He said that while CSOs cannot play the role of government, but as patriotic citizens, they compliment the efforts of the state actors.
“The SANCUS project is being implemented by Transparency International Secretariat through its chapters in 21 countries and supported by the European Commission.
“The project runs from January 2021 to December 2023.
“It is aimed at improving the democratic accountability of public institutions globally by empowering CSOs to demand for systemic change to address accountability and anti-corruption deficits.
“The challenge of ‘dirty money’ in Nigerian politics suggests a high level of impunity among politically-exposed individuals who gain power and wealth through illegal means with zero accountability, is a growing concern locally and internationally.
“The SANCUS project contributes, among others, in addressing this core problem of ‘dirty money’ in Nigerian politics.
“The project plans to advocate for the operational independence of anti-corruption agencies, and an increased enforcement of existing anti-money laundering provisions and policies.
“It is also for an improved oversight function of the National Assembly; and improved capacity of the media and civil society to investigate the presence of dirty money in Nigerian political processes as well as increased citizen’s demand for accountability in the funding of political processes,” Rafsanjani said.
In a goodwill message, the Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Mr Modibbo-Haamman Tukur, said that non-state actors play a unique role in supporting state actors in such ways that result to more effectiveness in the democratic effort.
Tukur, represented by Head, Real Estate and NPOs, Mr Moses Azege, said such collaboration results in innovative concepts.
“The theme of SANCUS Nigeria Project addressed the issue of ‘dirty money’ in Nigerian politics.
“This initiative cannot be more timely, bearing in mind that we are about to begin another electioneering process.
“And we know that electioneering is expensive to the ordinary Nigerian because more corrupt proceeds tend to flow into the electioneering space,” Tukur said.
Hajia Amina Elelu-Ahmed, Director, Legal, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said that the issue of ‘dirty money’ in Nigerian politics with its attendant negative consequences, was no doubt a threat to good governance.
Elelu-Ahmed said that it was no longer news also that politics in Nigeria, perhaps more than other avenues, was a leading means of money laundering.
According to her, many see political parties as avenues for investment by money bags, with an expectation for return on investment, and therefore would never be guided by the rules of accountability and transparency in governance.