Islamist group, Boko Haram, reportedly spends up to N2 billion to fund their terrorist activities annually.
Nigeria’s new minister of defence, Monsur Dan-Ali, Inspecting guards of honour. He will be expected to fashion a way forward to tackle Boko Haram.
According to the Deputy Director of Assessment and Technical Assistance for the United Nations Counter-terrorism Committee, Hassan Baage, the extremist sect’s annual budget was believed to be up to $10 million.
Baage made the remark at a gathering of West African security experts in Dakar, Senegal, just as Senegalese authorities recently arrested two suspected Boko Haram female members with 500 million CFA (about N164 million) cash.
The UN official used the opportunity to call for closer scrutiny of the financing of extremist groups, including Boko Haram.
He said:“We must detect the flow of money that finances their activities and measures must be implemented to freeze the funds. According to reports that we’ve consulted, the budget of Boko Haram is around $10 million per year.”
Also speaking at the event, a special envoy of the African Union, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, stated that a stronger institution was needed to police and block the financing of extremism.
He said: “The transfer of money through informal circles means huge amounts of money can circulate in these regions uncontrolled.”
Other security experts at the event also opined that Boko Haram’s financing could come from crime cartels, false charity organisations and blackmail.
While others referred to payments made to the terrorist group when they are paid millions for hostages, mainly foreign citizens.
Senegalese President, Macky Sall, told participants at the event that terrorists should not be allowed to “impose another form of religion” that does not “correspond to our traditions or our conceptions of Islam”.
According to him, ”Senegal must develop a philosophical and theological discourse, training imams with a sense of a tolerant Islam.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian army has dismissed reports that the Boko Haram insurgents were planning to attack some South-western states.
According to Col. Rabe Abubakar, the acting director of defence information, the report was baseless, unfounded and ill-advised, even as he told the public to ignore such reports.