The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, raised concerns on Monday about the evolving nature of security threats faced by Nigeria and other West African countries.
News About Nigeria reports that he specifically pointed out that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and generative technologies are now posing new challenges, particularly in the realm of fraud.
Speaking during the inauguration of the 27th meeting of the ministerial committee of the Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, Fagbemi stressed the need for a comprehensive assessment to understand both current and long-term threats experienced by countries in the region.
Fagbemi stated, “The threats we are facing will only continue to grow and evolve in unanticipated ways. In particular, the threat of artificial intelligence and generative technologies are already beginning to manifest new avenues for fraud.
“At the policy level, we must make all efforts to ensure that we understand the range of threats that we face and those that will confront us in the future. This emphasizes the need for continuous and ongoing ways of risk assessment and typologies work.”
The Attorney General also highlighted challenges related to the decentralised finance system in use across many countries in the region.
He noted that this system has facilitated illicit financial flows, making it challenging for law enforcement agents to trace and identify these flows effectively.
Fagbemi explained, “The increasing spread and dynamism in technology coupled with geopolitical fragility are creating fertile ground for organised criminal groups and transnational terrorist organisations to conduct their illegal activities on a global scale.
“In particular, the explosion in decentralised finance has created opportunities for the kind of anonymous financial systems that facilitate illicit financial flows and hampers the ability of our law enforcement and regulatory agencies to trace and identify the proceeds of criminal activity.”
While highlighting these challenges, Fagbemi called for the development of institutional frameworks to enforce financial crime regulations in the region.
He emphasised the collective commitment needed to protect the integrity of financial systems from threats such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing.