- Corruption as impediments to the socio-economic development of the continent.
- Buhari lists forms of Illicit Financial Flows.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Africans have no choice to break the back of corruption.
The President stated this when he disclosed that Nigeria lost an estimated US$157.5 billion to illicit financial flows between 2003 and 2012.
Quoting from the 2014 Global Financial Integrity Report in his address to the High-Level National Side-Event organised by the African Union Development Agency and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday in New York, on the margins of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, under the theme, “Promotion of 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 dearth of resources to fund public services or to alleviate poverty in the country.
Speaking on the lack of sufficient capital and corruption as impediments to the socio-economic development of the continent, the President emphatically restated his administration’s anti-corruption campaign, saying his administration 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.”
He also stressed the need to strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return, saying his administration has made significant progress to curb corruption in five years.
“We have recovered millions of dollars stolen from our country,” he added.
“There are still a lot of other funds that are stuck in foreign bank accounts due to international laws, different jurisdictions and justice systems that make it difficult for repatriation.”
Speaking on what he described as Illicit Financial Flows which is illegal movement of funds from one country to another, the President Buhari lamented that such acts deplete Africa’s internally generated revenues, foreign exchange earnings, reduce tax revenues, drain natural resources, facilitate corruption and stunt private sector development.
Citing tax avoidance as another form of illicit financial flow, Buhai quoted the Tax Justice Network and the International Monetary Fund to have estimated over US$200 billion per year as being lost by developing countries to multinational enterprises who do not pay taxes in the countries where they made the profit.
“This amount is significantly higher than the annual development aid received by these countries which are estimated to be about US$143 billion,” he added.
While commending the organisers of the meeting designed to finding solutions to the problem finding ways to promote international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return, as an arm of sustainable development policies in Africa, President Buhari also lauded their “shared commitment to root out corruption from our continent.”
“I am motivated by the belief that, if we join hands, we can bequeath to our children an Africa that is not defined by corruption.”