An online platform, Realnews, has said that $18 billion is lost yearly to illicit financial flows (IFFs), through the banking sector despite the effort of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other regulating institutions to curb it.
Speaking at the 11th Anniversary Lecture on Tuesday in Lagos, Realnews Publisher, Maureen Chigbo, said this year’s topic: “Threats of Illicit funds flow to the African Economy,” was drawn from the “deep concern about the nefarious effect of illicit funds flow on the economy, resulting in dwindling revenue for African governments.”
Chigbo recalled that Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on October 22, painted a gory picture on the impact of illicit funds flow, in which Nigeria loses $18 billion yearly to such crimes through the banking sector despite efforts by the CBN and other regulatory institutions to curb it.
Rafsanjani, also the head of Transparency International (TI) Nigeria, said that Nigeria was one of the 23 countries ranked as non-co-operative in the combined efforts to fight money laundering globally, since its establishment in 2003.
She quoted Rafsanjani as saying: “The banking sector has been largely implicated in money laundering where they have been instrumental in the initial entry or placement phase that involves the initial movement of an amount of money earned from criminal activity into some legitimate financial network or institution.
“This illicit act embedded into a legal trade has pervaded both the national and international business and banking industry with unabated vigour.”
The anniversary lecture series is one-way Realnews contributes to nation-building and development by providing a forum for policy change-oriented discussions by professionals, scholars, technocrats and decision-makers on the way forward for our great nation and Africa in general.
Rafsanjani is also of the view that adequate measures are needed to sanitize the nation’s financial system by helping to prevent money laundering and illicit financial flows through which terrorism is largely funded, to effectively tax bank executives, and to expose illegal financial transactions by full disclosures.
Chigbo, also the President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), disclosed that “the anniversary lecture series is one-way Realnews contributes to nation-building and development by providing a forum for policy change-oriented discussions by professionals, scholars, technocrats and decision-makers on the way forward for our great nation and Africa in general.”
According to her, the lecture series which started since 2014, have focused on a variety subjects, including, elections, leadership challenges and political transitions in Africa, economy, security, oil and gas, market integration, and drug abuse among the youths and a host of others.
“Based on these facts, we began a search for the best brain to deal with the theme. We narrowed down on our Guest Lecturer today because of his pedigree.
“We have also a carefully selected panel of discussants with relevant expertise, knowledge and experience to shed more light on the topic,” she said.
Chigbo appealed to her colleagues to ensure that the message from the lecture today is heard in Africa and beyond, assuring that Realnews will do its part by giving the widest publicity to this important lecture and the discussions.