The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a circular instructing banks and other financial institutions in the country to increase their monitoring of transactions involving businesses and individuals from Cameroon, Croatia, and Vietnam. The directive is a response to the recent inclusion of these countries on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body focused on combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. Countries on the grey list are actively working with the FATF to address deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures.
The CBN also highlighted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions that banks should closely monitor. The circular emphasizes the need for enhanced due diligence and, in severe cases, the implementation of countermeasures to protect the international financial system. The CBN reminded financial institutions to remain vigilant regarding transactions involving these listed countries and to be alert to possible emerging risks.
Furthermore, the CBN noted that Russia remains suspended from the FATF, and banks should exercise caution when engaging in transactions with Russian entities. The circular urged financial institutions to take note of all additions to jurisdictions under increased monitoring and high-risk jurisdictions subject to a call for action, and to implement necessary measures to mitigate risks effectively.
Earlier this year, Nigeria itself was placed on the FATF grey list, but recent efforts by the country have led to a significant reduction in identified deficiencies, from 84 to 15, demonstrating progress towards improving its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing framework.