The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has identified absence of transparency as the major facilitator of illicit financial flows.

The EFCC boss stated this on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 in a goodwill message at the Illicit Financial Flows conference organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja.

The EFCC boss who was represented by the Head of Research Unit, Department of Policy, Research and Statistics of the Commission, Abiodun Adebanjo, decried how corrupt leaders and their foreign accomplices and multinational companies promote illicit financial flow in Nigeria. “The situation we have seen in Nigeria is that corrupt government officials and their private sector collaborators use fronts and ownership structures that do not provide sufficient information about the true identities of the natural persons behind the title to hide illicit money and transfer same to safe havens in foreign jurisdictions.”

According to the EFCC boss, the problem of illicit financial flows is not only about anonymity but also on the lack of transparency on the part of the countries where these monies are stashed. “In Nigeria we see a case in which influential officials used their positions to pilfer government resources and extract maximum rent from the country’s mineral resources with minimum or no benefit to the citizens. In practical terms, billions of dollars are lost annually in royalties and fees for licenses which politically connected individuals appropriate to themselves using fronts and secret ownership arrangements. This deprives Federal Government huge amounts of monies needed for development,” he said.

The EFCC boss called for a multifaceted approach in addressing illicit financial flows and adoption of the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel) which provides path to financial integrity for sustainable development, showing how to redirect the resources lost from illicit flows to finance the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the achievement of the SDGs.

Bawa however reiterated the Commission’s commitment to support efforts at curtailing IFFs in Nigeria by upholding the laws and urged all regulatory agencies in the country to do same.

The EFCC boss also promised to support CISLAC and all other NGOs in ensuring that Nigeria’s quest to be free from all form of illicit financial flows becomes reality. “We believe at the EFCC that the quest for IFF-free Nigeria is a task that must be done and all and sundry are important in this fight.”

Other participants at the conference include; Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani); Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Sadiq Radda; Transparency International’s Samuel Kaninda, and Nicolas Shehu, Chairman, House Committee on Anti-corruption who was represented by Micah Yohannah.

 

Media & Publicity
June 10, 2021