Mbeki recommends more int’l collaborations to fight Illicit Financial Flows
Former President of South Africa and Head, African Union High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, Thabo Mbeki, has said further international collaborations among African countries is critical to stemming illegal financial flows.
In the Panel’s meeting in Abuja, Nigeria on Thursday, Mbeki said the amount of fund illegally repatriated from Africa yearly could be nothing less than $80 billion. But the Panel estimated the sum of $50 billion as the amount of money illegally moved from Africa.
Mbeki, as well as other members of the panel and resource persons on Thursday agreed that there is a ‘South-South Illicit Financial Flow’ within Africa. This means that some Africans, not foreigners, are currently a part of illicit deals to move finances from one part of Africa of Africa to another.
Mbeki said African countries must collaborate more effectively to track and stop illicit financial flows.
“Yearly, the continent is losing a lot of resources through illicit financial outflows. This is (Mbeki Panel) a matter of domestic resource mobilisation. Illicit Financial outflows is a matter we have to tackle to ensure that we retain these resources to develop the continent. We are to act to retain these resources and not just to report it. More international collaborations is important to achieve this”, Mbeki said.
Nigerian government officials who included the Attorney-General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed (represented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry), the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tunde Fowler took turns to narrate the effort of the Nigerian government to fight corruption and illicit financial flows.
Mbeki noted that Nigeria’s effort is significant. “Nigeria has been taking up this matter vigorously. President Muhammadu Buhari has always said that this matter should be taken seriously. Nigeria and Norway, on the side-line of the recent United Nations General Assembly, met to discuss the issue of Illicit Financial flow from Africa. It shows how serious Nigeria is taking this matter”, Mbeki added.
The Mbeki Panel was inaugurated on February 5th, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa after the Africa Union in 2011 identified Illicit Financial Flow from Africa as a major threat to development of Africa