The African continent is said to be losing over $80 billion to illicit financial flows every year, according to South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki.
The loss represents an increase of about $30 billion in 2018 from $50 billion which the former South African leader had said the continent was losing in 2015.
Mbeki, who is the Chairman of African Union, made the disclosure while presenting a report of the union’s high-level panel on illicit financial flows during a two-day meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The meeting which had in attendance leaders of African Union member countries was to review the progress made so far in the fight against the scourge.
He decried the growing level of illicit financial outflows from the continent, noting that the practice could impede Africa’s development.
Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, pointed out that 40 percent of the total illicit funds in the continent come from the oil & gas, multi-national corporations, and banking and financial services sector of the Nigerian economy.
Fowler explained that the funds also refer to taxes to the government defaulted by companies and individuals, and repatriated finances from one country into other Africa nations.
Also speaking, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Nigeria was deploying a number of strategies to address the ugly trend, stressing that government agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have been strengthened through the approach.
He also mentioned that the Federal Government’s strategies include the whistle-blowing policy, Bank Verification Number (BVN), and Integrated Personnel and Personal System (IPPS) which has helped by leveraging the use of technology to compute payment of salaries.