NIGERIA: In the wake of terrorism from 2008 and this year, Nigeria government has spent more than N6 trillion trying to combat the crime and other insecurity issues.
Nigeria has also misplaced over N5.4 trillion to tax evasion by the use of multi-nationals companies from 2011 to 2021.
This, the Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawahe said, is in exclusion of the theft of resources in the nation’s oil and fuel sector.
He made this statement while presenting a paper titled, “Combating Crime, Corruption and Implication for Development and Security’, at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, organised by the Centre for International Documentation on Organised and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
According to Bawa, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana, the Economic and Financial Crimes consist of corruption, which varies in diverse nations which are at the forefront of world security challenges.
“The ‘spoiler’ effects on countries’ development processes are diverse and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much-needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education,” Bawa added.
Bawa noted that, the absence of substantial improvement in the living conditions of the people in Africa and the rest of the developing nations in spite of their natural resource endowments could be blamed on pervasive economic crimes taking place in these countries.
Bawa further stated that, the activities of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention among couldn’t not allow the country to boost from its vast resources that are necessary for development.
“The taxpayers’ money is embezzled by government officials and their colleagues in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development.
“From the time I took over as the Executive Chairman, on the 5th of March 2021, we have recovered over N6 billion, 30 Real Estates and we have arrested over 1,500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted,” Bawa added.
Next step in the Corruption War
However, all hope is not lost, as the country under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated commitment and political will in dealing with economic crimes through a number of legislative and institutional reforms.
According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) funds that could have been used to uplift Nigeria, are being lost through fraudulent acts such as, corruption, tax evasion, money laundry and insecurity
Bawa, therefore, called on leaders across the world to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.