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Illicit financial flow has eaten up our economy – African leaders

African leaders have again cried out over the increasing level of illegal transfer of money that leaves countries into different European nations.

Latest Nigeria News has learned that the presidents and prime ministers of African nations have made it known in a high-level event on illicit financial flows (IFF) that took place sidelines of the ongoing 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York.

According to Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has lost about 157.5 billion dollars due to illicit financial flows between 2003 and 2012.

Buhari while quoting from the 2014 Global Financial Integrity Report also said that such massive loss of assets, resulted in dearth of resources “to fund public services or to alleviate poverty,” in the country. This is why, as Africans, we have no choice but to break the back of corruption,” he said.

Acknowledging 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.

He said, “That is why our government 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.”

Meanwhile, the president of Ethiopia, Sahlework Zewede, described IFFs and the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets as complex subjects.

Zewede said, “innovative solutions require sustained discussion among countries and various stakeholders in the spirit of partnership and shared responsibility”.

For his part, the President of Zambia, Edger Lungu, highlighted some challenges faced by African governments in effectively tackling IFFs.

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Lungu listed them to include lack of harmonisation in the legal and institutional frameworks and ineffective coordination between different jurisdictions.

These, in addition to “ineffective border control and in some cases conflicts between national and regional interests are indeed notable challenges”.

He, therefore, called for harmonisation of legal and institutional frameworks to effectively tackle the monster.

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