“African nations should strengthen institutions to curb illicit financial flows” – VP Osinbajo

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Nigeria's Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on African leaders to strengthen their financial institutions such as Custom formations, transfer pricing units, anti-corruption agencies to tackle the menace of illicit financial flow in the continent.

Osinbajo made the call in Abuja at the 2nd International Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) and Enhancing Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development.

The conference was designed to evolve measures to realise implementation of the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development by assisting vulnerable countries to enhance mobilisation of domestic resources by blocking IFF.

Osinbajo said that the processes through which IFF takes place undermines government’s efforts to carry out its obligations on its citizens, noting that huge resources was been held outside the continent.

“Our effort to stem financial flow will depend on our domestic capacity to prevent and repatriate illicit financial flow as well as for African countries to establish the relevant architecture.

“This includes establishment and strengthening of the revenue authorities, such as customs, financial institutions, transfer pricing units, anti-corruption agencies,” he said.

According to him, the task of combating IFF would also require provision of accurate data, update information, effective regulatory, and legislative institutional frameworks.

He also said there was the need to acquire and engage in training of highly skilled personnel, who understands the complexity of IFF.

“Above all we must be committed in using the recovered resources in promoting development and the interest of the people,“ Osinbajo added.

The Vice Pesident also reaffirmed Nigeria’s committment to tackle IFF in the continent.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema said that the negative impacts of IFF on the implementation of 2030 agenda for sustainable development for developing countries cannot over emphasised.

According to him, evidence shows that enormous resources siphoned from Africa was scuffling provision of basic infrastructure, quality education and health services in the continent.

He said that in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari was making assiduous effort to tackle the menace of IFF, adding that Nigerian’s unwavering commitment has been acknowledge by the international community.

“In this regards, Nigeria must continue to work to honor our obligation under the open government partnership, we must continue to promote fiscal transparency in the conduct of government business.

“Nigeria must continue to promote the laudable objective of tax initiative as measure to address IFF. We must ensure efficiency in our tax systems and the ease of doing business in Nigeria; we must continue with our anti-corruption measures,” the Minister explained.

Peace PIAK