The United States government is collaborating with the Nigerian government to safeguard its financial system against being exploited for terrorism financing. Eric Meyer, U.S.
Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary, revealed this during a media roundtable in Abuja.
Meyer is part of a U.S. team visiting Nigeria to engage with the country’s security and financial institutions on strategies to counter terrorism in Nigeria and the wider African continent.
He emphasized their primary focus on countering the financing of terrorism, particularly through money laundering and other channels susceptible to corruption. The U.S. aims to partner with Nigerian authorities to ensure that the nation’s financial system remains secure, making it challenging for illicit actors to support terrorism and other unlawful activities.
Meyer highlighted Nigeria’s robust banking system, which is vital for the country’s economy and the region, with connections to the U.S. financial system. The U.S. seeks to reinforce the safety and security of this financial system.
Furthermore, Meyer mentioned their discussions about Nigeria’s technology sector, acknowledging the nation’s thriving financial technology industry. The U.S. is exploring ways to advance the use of financial technology while ensuring its security.
Gregory D. LoGerfo, the Deputy Coordinator for the U.S. Bureau of Counterterrorism, shared that the bureau has invested $200 million since 2018 in counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel and the West African coast. The bureau has been supporting governments in the region to combat terrorist facilitation, conduct investigations and prosecutions related to terrorism, respond to terrorism incidents, and counter violent extremism.
Their approach is regional, and they have consulted with Nigerian officials to enhance cooperation regarding border security.
David Galbraith, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Bureau, explained that his bureau collaborates with partners globally to combat crime, drug trafficking, and enhance civilian security. They have well-established partnerships with various criminal justice sectors and institutions in Nigeria, aiming to improve their working relationship.
The collaborative efforts between the United States and Nigeria are focused on enhancing security and addressing shared security challenges in the region.