How Nigerians, other corrupt Africans spend stolen public funds – PACAC

How Nigerians, other corrupt Africans spend stolen public funds – PACAC

As African nations raise the stake against corruption, member, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Odekunle, has provided a clear picture on how looters of public resources in Africa spend their wealth.

Odekunle also accused US, Dubai and Asia of recieving stolen Africa wealth.

Besides, he lashed out at Nigeria’s foremost telecommunication company, MTN, for choosing to fight the nation’s government rather than complying with fine imposed on it, following alleged breach of the country’s financial laws.

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He stated these in Abuja on Tuesday September 11 at the International Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development.

The event was organized by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC.

It seeks among others to proffer ways to improve sanctions and enforcement mechanisms for perpetrators of illicit financial lows and other acts of corruption; to improve international cooperation in enhancing asset recovery and asset return.

The two-day event was the second in its series, bringing economic, financial and other experts from across the world to proffer ways to ending the menace in Africa.

Odekunle began his address to the hundreds of participants by saying: “We cannot achieve our development goals if we continue to lose monies from our countries, from our economies. When you talk about financial flows, it does not necessarily mean that all these financial flows are problems of corruption. It is possible that there are companies that actually make their money legally, but, the manner in which they get that money abroad is illegal and is against the rules and regulations of that country…

“Corrupt public officials used to have an easy way in syphoning our money abroad. It is a little bit difficult now with the international financial cooperation. They have started engaging in internal money laundering, whereby we now have the money building mansion, building plazas, building houses and factories in the capital of the African countries.

“Another example is terrorists group who are using Shell Companies to be able to transfer money to one another, therefore endangering our existence. Now, the impact of all these is to sabotage our development because there is a loss of government revenue.”

He said poor governance structure, financial regulatory structure and poor regulatory role of African Central Banksworsen illicit financial flows.

“One ultimate goal of combating illicit financial flow is to help countries mobilize domestic resources to finance development goals. We cannot hope to achieve Sustainable Development Goals without addressing the problem of illicit financial flows. It is important to underscore this point,” he said.

He added that any money that leaves Africa goes to US, Asia, Dubai. “The Global Financial Integrity Research suggests that about 45 percent of illicit financial flows end up in offshore financial centres and 55 percent end up in developed countries. This obviously does not happen by accident. Many countries and their institutions actively facilitate and reap enormous profits from the depth of massive amount of monies of developed countries.

“This second leg of this conference is taking place timeously with the issue of MTN taking billions of dollars away from this country illegally, and because of the political will of the administration, regulatory agencies like the CBN have started to act.

“We are not doing anything by force. We are going by the rule of law. They company has been fined. At the same time, they have the resources to go to court and challenge the ruling. But, the political will of the administration is coming to play.

“Afterall, these companies have been there before. The regulatory agencies had been there before. Taking the example of Federal Inland Revenue Service, which even as of now, it has made one more trillion in taxes more than it made this time last year. If you have the political will, the regulatory agencies will follow suit,” he said.

How Nigerians, other corrupt Africans spend stolen public funds – PACAC

How Nigerians, other corrupt Africans spend stolen public funds – PACAC

 

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