The United States government has questioned the ability of Nigeria's State Security Service, SSS to investigate money laundering cases in the country.
In an assessment published in the March 2017 edition of the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) authored by the US Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs, the US described Nigeria as a house of fraud.
“There are concerns about the Department of State Services’ capacity to investigate money laundering and that it does not share case information with other agencies that also conduct financial investigations,” the report states.
It noted that EFCC’s reliance on formal mutual legal assistance with the U.S. to collect admissible evidence in money laundering cases is a major challenge in its effort to curb financial crimes
However it praised the EFCC for its “aggressive” probe of high-profile corruption but also insisted that the conviction rate was regrettable.
“However, the EFCC’s conviction rates continue to be low due in part to gaps in the judicial system that cause cases to languish in the system for long periods of time without resolution,” the report said.
It praised Nigerian banks for their willingness to submit currency transactions reports but termed Nigeria as “a major drug transshipment point and a significant center for financial crime.”
The report argued that criminal organisations, corrupt officials, businessmen, terrorist group and internet fraudsters take advantage of Nigeria’s weak law, poor enforcement, geographical location, porous borders and socioeconomic conditions to launder proceeds of crime.
On the other hand, the report praised Nigeria over the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), insisting that it improves transparency and streamlines revenue collection and expenditure.