President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that Nigeria lost an estimated 157.5 billion dollars to unlawful financial flows between 2003 and 2012. The president’s spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buhari revealed this in an event organised by the African Union Development Agency and New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
This event was organised in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) on Wednesday in New York. The subject matter of the meeting was: “How to promote International cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets recovery and return to foster sustainable development.”
President Buhari noted that such massive loss of assets resulted in the dearth of resources to fund public services or to alleviate poverty in the country. “This is why, as Africans, we have no choice but to break the back of corruption,” he said. Buhari acknowledged the lack of sufficient capital and corruption as an obstruction to the socio-economic development of the continent, the President emphatically restated his administration’s anti-corruption campaign.
“That is why our government has made it a war we intend to win. We will give all it takes to ensure there is no hiding place for purveyors of corrupt practices who are truly enemies of the people.”
President Muhammed Buhari emphasized on the need to strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return. The president, who described unlawful financial flows as “illicit movement of funds from one country to another”, regrets that these flows depleted Africa’s internally generated revenues and foreign exchange earnings. He also added that it reduces tax revenues, drains natural resources, facilitates corruption and stunts private sector development.
Finally, President Buhari commended the organisers of the events which were designed to find “practical ways to promote international cooperation to combat unlawful financial flows and strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return, as an arm of sustainable development policies in Africa.”