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How graft impedes smooth trade, contract pacts, by Osinbajo

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[FILES] Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that corruption is militating against positive outcomes to trade and contract agreements in the country.

He made the disclosure yesterday while declaring open a capacity building workshop for Nigerian trade negotiators for improved terms of engagement with the rest of the world and to eradicate illicit financial flows in the country.

The training, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Inter-Agency Committee on Stopping Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Nigeria, is being graced by senior and middle-level negotiators from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government and others.

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Osinbajo said the training was timely for better bilateral and multilateral pacts. His words: “Poorly negotiated trade agreements can lead to serious financial flows,” urging negotiators to institute maintenance and monitoring mechanisms to mitigate failures.

He advised the mediators to “ensure scrutiny, accountability and transparency, as well as checks and balances in carrying out any negotiated agreements in the country.”

Also Speaking, the Special Assistant to the President on Economic Matters and Chairman, Inter-Agency Committee on Stopping Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Nigeria, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, noted: “One of the ways in which illicit financial flows is carried out is through secret and poor undertaking of agreements.”

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He continued: “Careful preparation, strong inter-disciplinary team, good research and good understanding are among key elements in carrying out favourable undertakings of any trade negotiation.”

The residential aide implored Nigerian negotiators to adhere to economic prosperity and reduction in illicit financial flows in the country.

In his remarks, ICPC Chairman Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, clarified that the programme was to equip the negotiators for better productivity.

His words: “The idea of the training is to sensitise negotiators on the type of clauses to look out for to protect the laws of the country and prevent Nigeria from losing revenue through illicit financial flows.”

He explained that the training would prepare the indigenous negotiators for the risks associated with negotiating trade, investment, tax, natural resources and environmental agreements for the country.

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