Nigeria requires strong institutions and systems to fight corruption and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has recommended.
He made this recommendation while delivering a lecture to participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In his paper titled “Governance, Corruption, Rule of Law and Security in Africa”, Prof. Owasanoye stated that the solution to corruption, economic and security problems bedeviling Nigeria lies in building strong institutions and systems with active collaboration from state and non-state actors.
He said, “Corruption and weak governance are mutually reinforced. Corruption and weak governance impact development, peace and security in multiple ways.
“Diversion of public budget in the expenditure side of revenue, direct looting of treasury, illicit financial flows (IFFs), tax evasion, misapplication of funds, deliberate elephant projects, and contract and procurement abuse have huge implication for development.
“Without development, there can be no peace or security and without peace and security, development is a mirage. Massive investment in infrastructure is the route to development”
In a related development, the ICPC Chairman has called on Sub-Saharan African Countries to reverse illicit financial flows and prioritize asset recoveries towards minimising the menace of corruption in the region.
Prof. Owasanoye, who gave the charge at the virtual conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa, called for the utilisation of proceeds from recovered assets to tackle the problem of poverty in the sub-region.
Delivering a paper titled “Understanding the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR)”, the ICPC boss said Africa could not eradicate poverty or meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) without prioritising asset recovery and domestic resource mobilization.
“The sure way to diminish corruption is to improve domestic resource mobilisation in the region and also to reverse illicit financial flows. It would be a dream to assume that we would achieve it without meeting the basic results that have been set for basic mobilization.”
He further stated that the world has lost huge revenues to corruption and illicit financial flows, adding that the country had recovered up to $700 million of assets in the last six years.
He highlighted the CAPAR framework to include Detection and identification of Assets, Recovery and Return of Assets, Management of Recovered Assets, Recommended Actions on Asset Management and Cooperation and Partnerships.
Owasanoye called on heads of member states to adopt a policy on the use of asset recovery and management for development goals.