By Naomi Sharang
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), says Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) are bane of Nigeria’s development.
Owasanoye said this at the inaugural meeting of Inter-Agency Committee on Implementation of the Thabo Mbeki Report in Abuja on Friday.
Mbeki heads African Union’s 10-member High-Level Panel on IFFs.
The committee is waging war against illicit financial flows from Africa.
According to Owasanoye, Nigeria is a member of the group.
He said that for the country to develop, government agencies must stop money that was going out.
“These monies go out by various measures and the big chunk was by tax evasion, under-hand business and practices by multi-national corporations, among others.
He said in 2017, the Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption (PACAC) held its first conference on illegal financial flows and assets recovery as platforms for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving Nigeria’s domestic resources.
“Some years ago, some international communities also came up with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to look at ways by which developing countries could meet SDGs by improving domestic resource mobilisation.
“Hitherto to the action, there were countries that depended on external support to balance their budget or to fund their programmes.
“And there have been all manner of programmes by International Monetary Fund to probe the ailing countries, starting with highly indebted countries.
“PACAC did an advisory to the Federal Government about the need to set up an inter-agency committee on the implementation of the Thabo Mbeki report because the report affects Africa and the capital outflow that we are losing’’.
The ICPC chairman further said that the committee was to establish cooperation among relevant agencies in order to substantially reduce and eliminate illicit financial flow from Nigeria.
“It is also to improve coordination and the exchange of information among agencies tackling illicit financial flows in the country’’.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said that illicit financial flows were a great source of loss of development finance that could be used to finance the economy.
Dipeolu is also the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters/Office of the Vice-President.