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Nigeria loses over $15 billion annually to illegal financial transactions

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource centre  has shown  that Nigeria loses  between $15 to $18 billion annually as a result of Illicit Financial Flow (IFF), that is corruption.

HEDA also revealed that Nigeria’s loss accounted for about 30 percent of Africa’s loss to IFF which was at $50 billion in the last 10 years, saying it is unfortunate the number may rise as the corrupt practice escalates.

“The Thabo Mbeki report of 2018 put Africa’s losses at between $50 and $60 billion per year, with Nigeria accounting for 30 percent of the amount. Therefore, Nigeria may be losing between $15 and $18 billion every year to illicit financial flows.

“Some opinion poll have argued that Nigeria alone may have lost up to $50 billion annually, while other source estimates that African States collectively linked to IFF to the tune of approximately $60 to $100n billion each year,” stated HEDA.

These among other revelations was contained in a HEDA’s message during a media roundtable discourse held recently at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Lagos, as the organisation presented to the public, the 4thedition of their publication, “A compendium of 100 high profile corruption cases in Nigeria.”

In his speech, Chairman, HEDA Resource Center, Olanrewaju Suraju noted that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigeria society, that most of these cases as it connotes, ‘high profile’ in the compendium involved influential people and even serving government officials including politicians in the country.

Suraju noted that according to some reputable researchers, Africa is estimated to have lost much in excess of $1 trillion in illicit financial flows, with loses fast outstripping foreign direct investments and development assistance.

According to him, the reports stated that there are significant shortcomings in Nigeria’s constitutional provisions, domestic laws and treaty obligations that contributed to the country’s susceptibility to the problems of illicit financial flows.

HEDA records that most troubling damage done to Nigeria by illicit financial flow has been the damage caused to its administration of the justice sector.

It maintained that institutions within the administration of justice sector have suffered from under-performance, saying that state institutions have been severely weakened in their ability to combat corruption and IFF.

Suraju maintained that the massive drain of Africa’s financial resources into foreign land especially UK and UAE in focus could have been used to solve some of the continent’s ailing infrastructural deficits if it was curtailed.

The compendium covers some of verified cases with the most recent updates featuring reportage of a total number of 100 high profile case of corruption most of which are current.  It also reveals the complicity of key Nigerian stakeholders in the PSID failed contract and the emergence of young Nigerian internet fraudsters like Ramon Abbas Igbalode, Alias Hushpuppi and Ismaila Mustapha alias Mompha that have further put Nigeria to international ridicule in terms of corruption perception. These are in addition to the several existing and new high profile corruption cases involving politically exposed persons.

With the cases of Daziene Madueke, Dan Etete, Cecilia Ibru, Dasuki, Olisa Metu, Adoke  among others, HEDA stated that the absence of effective implementation and enforcement of national laws allows these crime to thrive.

“With the widespread practice of acquisition of both offshore accounts and foreign luxury properties by prominent public officers, the ruling elite lacks political will to combat corruption and abuse of official power and functions,” HEDA Resource center.

Some of new cases of financial corruption were recorded while old cases and closed closes were equally recorded.

Guest speaker, Dr. Gbenga Oduntan, a UK based financial crime research expert, in his lecture, spoke on a topic:  “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows (IFF): A Critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices in Financial and Professional Institutions.”

 

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