ECOWAS delegation wants Liberia to join Egmont Group
A high-power delegation comprising officials of Nigerian, Congo Financial Intelligence Units ( FIUs) and FIU Forum of West Africa or the ECOWAS region has predicted that Liberia stands a better chance to get window of opportunities if the country joins Egmont Group that puts all its members on a global stage for information sharing that can help trigger investments.
” Several countries in West Africa and other parts of the World have realized economic opportunities or Foreign Direct Investments because, they are members of Egmont Group, Mr. Mohammad Jiya, speaking at the end of a weeklong visit to Liberia expressed optimism.
The delegation from Nigeria, Congo and FIU Forum are mentoring Liberia to get membership with Egmont Group, an international information exchange platform or group that has a membership of over 160 countries.
In his closing remark over the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. Mohammad Jiya, head of the delegation said windows of opportunities are expected to open for Liberia if the country gets membership or admitted in the Egmont Group because credible investors have confidence in countries that are members of Egmont Group because those nations financial systems are properly regulated and protected.
He said Liberia’s financial system will be respected and her economy could grow with foreign direct investments if the country gets admitted into Egmont Group.
An official of the Nigerian FIU said, the Liberian authorities need to make maximum use of this golden opportunity that has the propensity to give Liberia a positive image and help to protect the country’s economy from waste and abuse.
Also speaking at the Ministry of Justice, Liberia’s Justice Minister, Frank Musah Dean who is the chairperson of the Interministerial Steering Committee on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorists, gave assurance that the Liberian government is prepared to support the country’s admittance into Egmont Group.
According to him, Liberia has taken concrete steps to fight money laundering and other predicate crimes, like drug and human trafficking, tax invasion, smuggling of goods and precious stones(gold and diamond), among other crimes.
He promised to engage President George Manneh Weah, Judiciary and Legislature about all actors’ collective support to help Liberia join Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).
For his part, the Officer In- Charge / Acting Director of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), Emmanuel T. Gee, is appealing to the 54th Legislature to fast-track the passage of two key acts/ legislations such as Market Manipulation and Human Trafficking Acts because those two laws are criteria that will help Liberia to obtain membership with Egmont Group of FIUs.
According to him, increased budgetary support from the Liberian government and donor partners has the ability to meaningfully help Liberia FIA to robustly implement detailed programs, fight money laundering and other illicit financial practices.
He said Nigeria has agreed to procure modern software for Liberia which is one of key requirements that Egmont Group needs for any country that is a candidate for admittance.
” We appreciate our government’s continuous financial support, but increment this time cannot be overemphasized because, FIA’s admittance could bring foreign direct investments to Liberia because, credible investors will have confidence in our financial system,” he pointed out.