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Nigeria lost $1 trillion to corruption: Report

  Adefemola Akintade Nigeria and other sub-saharan nations have lost over $1 trillion to corruption, states a report by Commonwealth Afric...


Adefemola Akintade

Nigeria and other sub-saharan nations have lost over $1 trillion to corruption, states a report by Commonwealth Africa.


This was disclosed at the recent five-day regional conference of heads of anti-corruption agencies organised by Commonwealth Africa and held in Kigali, Rwanda.


“The Africa Growth Initiative notes that sub-saharan Africa received nearly $2 trillion in foreign direct investment (FDI) and ODA between 1980 and 2018, but lost more than $1 trillion to illicit financial outflows,” noted the report.


The report further disclosed that the continent’s illicit outflows rose to $1.3 trillion, sufficient to lift over 1.4 billion persons out of poverty, had the funds been utilised judiciously.


“When looking at the whole of Africa, that figure rises to $1.3 trillion – enough money that could lift the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day out of poverty,” it added.


While addressing delegates of the 19-member states, Commonwealth’s secretary-general Patricia Scotland emphasised the need to tackle corruption as a top priority, noting it would remain a hindrance to the economic growth and social progress of nations, if left unchecked.


According to the secretary-general, co-operation and collaboration between government agencies and member countries are the keys to ending systemic corruption.


“I am eternally optimistic that, if we work together, and work well, Commonwealth Africa – and the Commonwealth as a whole – will sweep corruption aside and create the lasting, positive space for sustainable development to thrive, and for people everywhere to flourish,” explained the secretary-general in her opening address.


The conference themed ‘Combating Corruption for Good Governance and Sustainable Development in Africa’, is expected to proffer solutions to tackle the root causes of corruption in member countries.


Although Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari promised to fight corruption when he assumed office in 2015, official corruption has continued to weaken the country’s economic and political stability.


Meanwhile, a similar report by the World Bank stated that Nigeria’s economy under Mr Buhari’s regime was worse than 10 years ago, amid multiple recessions that hit the country in 2016 and 2020.


The nation which can no longer fund its own budget has resorted to borrowing heavily from other nations to finance its projects.


Billions of recovered funds from former dictator Sani Abacha have been reportedly re-looted, further sinking the nation’s regressing economy into lower depths.


The U.S. government in its 2022 country report on Human Rights Practices accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) of abandoning high-profile corruption cases to focus on prosecuting small-time fraudsters, giving credence to hearsays that corruption ran rife in the nation’s anti-corruption units.


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