Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has decried the adverse effect of Illicit Financial Flows, IFFs, on Nigeria’s development.
He identified tax evasion, under-hand business and practices by multi-national corporations as some of the ways that money leaves the country illegally.
Owasanoye spoke at the inaugural meeting of Inter-Agency Committee on Implementation of the Thabo Mbeki Report in Abuja on Friday.
The committee was set up to fight against illicit financial flows from Africa.
The ICPC Chairman noted that for the country to develop, government agencies must stop the monies going out.
He said: “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 recalled past efforts by government to stop illicit financial flow from the country especially the 2017, Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption, PACAC, 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.
“It is also to improve coordination and the exchange of information among agencies tackling illicit financial flows in the country.’’
Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee, Mr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, described illicit financial flows as “a great source of loss of development finance that could be used to finance the economy.”