20 January 2014, Lagos – The Federal Government has called for global action against illicit financial flows estimated to be around $50 billion annually in Africa.
The Supervising Minister of National Planning, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, made this call, Friday, in Abuja at the opening of the 12th plenary session of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, which Nigeria hosted under its Presidency tenure.
Yuguda said the call had become necessary as the continent loses $50 billion annually to illicit financial flows.
“The leading group should collaborate with the panel and other relevant organisations in addressing this threat because of its damaging impact on development as statistics indicate that illicit financial flows from Africa alone is estimated at around USD 50 billion annually, twice the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA), that is extended to the continent in one year” he said.
The Minister, who presided over the session, also called for the development of partnership between the public and the private sector which, according to him, will help to mobilise more financial resources for development and therefore needed to be given necessary encouragement.
Accordingly, Amb Yuguda, stated further that, the leading group would require to focus more attention on the imperative of strengthening measures against illicit capital flight and tax avoidance, especially now that the world seem to be paying more attention to the menace with the setting up of the High Panel on Illicit financial flows from Africa under the Chairmanship of Mr Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa.
Nigeria, through the National Planning Commission, was elected Presidency of the Leading Group at the end of the 11th Plenary held in Helsinki, Finland Republic on 6th February, 2013.
The tenure of Nigeria’s Presidency of the Group started on 1st March, 2013 and ended 31st.
*Emmanuel Elebeke – Vanguard