Nigeria loses $18b yearly to illicit financial flows
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said $18 billion of revenue expected to address the nation’s under-development is diverted yearly in illicit financial flows (IFFs).
Presenting a report on “Averting Illicit Financial Flows in Nigeria’s Extractive Industry” yesterday in Abuja, NEITI Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, noted that over 30 per cent of the funds is being affected by the situation.
Illicit financial flows are regarded as illegal capital flight that occurs when money is illegally earned, transferred, or spent.
These funds usually disappear from records in the country of origin, and earnings on the stock of IFFs.
Adio, who said Nigeria remained a leading culprit in the world, disclosed that the flows on the continent stand at around $60 billion.
He insisted that the country must find a sustainable solution to the scourge.
Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, disclosed that the trajectory would not decline unless necessary agencies and stakeholders collaborate to tackle the menace.
He said the current administration had recorded success in the fight against financial crime through the collaboration established with the judiciary.
In a similar vein, NEITI has rated Nigeria as the first Anglophone African country to attain transparency standard.
With the development, the nation has reached the highest global ranking in terms of global extractive industries transparency initiative.
The decision was announced at the ongoing 42nd meeting of the EITI Board in Kiev, Ukraine where the global body applauded Nigeria for using the EITI process to shape reforms and improve transparency in the extractive sector.
The initiative, founded in 2013, is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It equally seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors.
Chair of EITI Board, Fredrik Reinfeldt said: “Nigeria’s implementation of the EITI standard remains in many respects a model for implementing countries globally.
“Apart from its scope, NEITI reports have shaped major reforms initiated in the sector, including those by the national oil company, NNPC. We hope the government will continue to use the NEITI process to inform its policies for better governance.”
According to the board, Nigeria has made satisfactory progress in implementing all the requirements of the EITI standard but faces the challenge of entrenching transparency in routine government and agency systems.