‘Forensic investigation can curb Nigeria’s $10b yearly illicit financial outflows’
The application of Forensic science in Nigeria will halt the pervasive illicit financial outflows estimated at a whopping $10 billion yearly, particularly by the multinationals from Nigeria.
Also, the deployment of fraud preventive technology will help Nigeria account for recovered loot and prevent their re-looting.
These assertions were made by a forensic expert and Chairman Board of Trustees, the Society for Forensic Accounting and Fraud Prevention, Mr. Ilyiasu Gadhinbaki at the weekend in an exclusive interview with The Guardian.
Gashinbaki, whose society is seeking a chartered status at the Nigerian House of Representatives, said such savings from illicit and corrupt practices would assist Nigeria to address critical needs. He insisted that if properly employed, it will detect crime a thousand miles away before it is perpetrated.
He advised the country to quickly employ the forensic science application ahead of the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) owing to the expected exposure to risk.
He said: “In 2020, the global GDP was about $83 trillion. There are established studies that have confirmed that close to 10 per cent of that have been filtered away through illicit financial flows, and that is about $8.3 trillion.
“Now imagine if that amount is put into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or solve the challenges of climate change. Imagine if that chunk of money is invested in education. We will almost get to a point where every child has access to education.
“There are recent studies also that concluded that in Africa, we are losing close to $50 billion to illicit financial flows and of which 10 per cent of that, $10 billion is from Nigeria. That is a lot of money compared to Nigeria’s budget and GDP.”
He also delved into how Nigeria stands to benefit by approving a charter for the society whose membership exceeds 2,000 in the country.
“This body is going to assist the government rather than the other way round, and the reason is very simple. First, the government is overstretched and the three arms of government need to build their capacities, which will assist to achieve.
“Our professionals are going to train judges to understand the depth and technicalities associated with the fraud. This is because if they are well trained, it will give them a deeper understanding of emerging trends; hence they will deliver sound judgment. Also, the legislators will make sound laws and help law enforcement agencies to build capacity,” Gashinbaki stated.
He regretted that regulators and even the people at the forefront of the fight against corruption have not been able to understand that the country needs to build capacity.