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Report lists U.S., Germany, France as custodians of stolen money from Nigeria



France’s President Francois Hollande. His country is listed as one of the havens for illicit funds from Nigeria. PHOTO:AFP

NLC to protest in Switzerland for repatriation of looted funds

A report by London-based Public Service International Research Unit (PSIRU) has listed United States, Spain and France as countries that keep illicit funds from Nigeria.

The group, which investigated the impact of privatisation and liberalisation on public services, also named Japan and Germany as the other nations where money stolen from Nigeria is kept.

Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its civil society allies are planning to stage a protest in Switzerland for the repatriation of stolen funds kept in the country’s banks.

Disclosing its plan to stage a protest in Switzerland yesterday at a workshop in Abuja organised by Public Service International (PSI) on tax justice in Africa, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the congress would also stage similar protests in countries that are believed to be harbouring illicit funds from politically-exposed persons from Nigeria.

Unveiling the details, the PSI Director of Policy and Governance, Daniel Bertossa, said reports indicated that between 1980 and 2009, about $1.4 trillion was lost by Africa from illicit financial flows.

Bertossa, who also quoted from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) report, added that Nigeria also lost over $3 billion annually to tax incentives and import waivers.

He said while the country loses $2.9 billion to corporate tax incentives, it also loses $327 million annually to import duty exemption.

“Shell is estimated to collect about $149 million in tax incentives. Total, another oil company receives about $43 million in incentives. And if we look at who are the beneficiaries of these incentives, it is the very rich companies.”

Wabba said there is justification for recipient countries to negotiate terms for the release of illicit funds.

The NLC boss said: “Beyond the case in Africa, I think we must also have a way to go and protest at the receiver countries. When I hear that, Switzerland where illicit financial flow from Nigeria has been taken to, is not willing to release the funds, it shocks me. We must go there and protest till they release our money.”

He condemned tax exemptions granted to multinationals and those he described as rich and powerful Nigerians.

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  • simpledemmy

    God shall intervene for loots to be recovered! Bt if Patience Jonathan should go scot free without those revealed looted money from being released back to d treasury, then Buhari and his govt should shut up, and realized he’s not competent to rule

  • Artful ºDodger

    The UK is the number one destination, followed by the USA, Canada, UAE and maybe the rest of the countries. Yet the English said Nigerians are fantastically corrupt which is true afterall we rob ourselves to take to them.

  • Deborah

    The safest habor for illicit funds is Germany. A professional agent makes any assets waterproof. However, the charge for fee and commission is up to 30%; not cheap but waterproof.

  • Rev

    Perhaps these western criminals know that the money recovered will be stolen anyway…So why not keep it…Please my advice to them is share the money to the Nigerians abroad in your countries who will then spend it in your countries and send some home. Because if Buhari gets this money half of it will go into Boko Haram, some to fulani herds men, the other to emirs and Imams, another to the multiple wives of governors, some to searching for oil in the North another to widows of Boko Haram fighters…just a tiny portion will go to the rest of Nigeria…And don’t forget oga Tinubu is yet to be compensated and that man don’t play with his money.
    Do not I repeat hand that money to this man.
    Please keep the money in the Banks until this affliction called Buhari passed over.

  • godwyns

    This is misplaced priorities by the NLC. They should protest in Nigeria for govt to make true and transparent effort towards recovering these monies. You can blame the countries where the monies are hidden as much as you like but without due diligence and strong evidence, you will not get the money. Just think of it this way; if someone calls your bank to say the money in your account is stolen from them (the caller), your bank MAY [or not] freeze your account but they will not just transfer the money to the caller without concrete evidences to prove the claim. Nigeria is the caller in this instance but not providing any evidence since even Buhari is insisting that Abacha did not steal any money and Obasanjo said that ordinary people should give him evidence of IBB’s corruption. That is where our problem lies. We put friends and colleagues of the thieves in charge and expect them to take action against themselves. No way! In fact, our corrupt politicians – some of whom probably owns these stolen monies – likes the emotional blackmail they are using against the West because it removes the attention on them for doing nothing to get the monies back. I suspect NLC too is corrupt hence they are diverting attention to foreign countries instead of holding the Nigerian govt to account and putting pressure on it to do the right things to repatriate these monies. NLC should be at the forefront of protesting at the govt not collecting the right amount of tax from Shell etc and not blame the companies. In the UK recently, protest groups put pressure on the govt to collect the right amount of tax from Google, Starbucks, etc and the govt did. I would happily join the NLC in protests but they have to do it where it matters.