Block Illicit Financial Flows -CISLAC to FG

A human rights organization under the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center said on Wednesday that Nigeria should block revenue leakages and stop illicit financial flows to reduce the country’s accumulation of debt.

The Executive Director of CISLAC and Transparency International, Nigeria, Auwal Rafsanjani, said so during the one-day dialogue on the status of adoption of the report of the High Level Panel on IFFs in the Economic Community of States of West Africa organized by the West African Tax Administration Forum.

Rafsanjani said Nigeria was losing billions of dollars every year to IFFs encouraged by multinationals and foreign countries, adding that the threat was replicated across Africa.

He therefore stressed the need for the government to consider the threat as a major threat to the economic and social well-being of the nation.

Rafsanjani said, “NASS has a responsibility to ensure that leaks are blocked and financial outflows that occur are minimized. As things stand, there is no conversation or debate in the National Assembly to discuss this very important high-level report and we are losing billions of dollars every year. They must realize their responsibility.

“It’s not enough to approve and approve the president’s loan requests, but also to ask critical questions like why are we borrowing money and does it end up in some people’s pockets?. Laziness in which some civil servants still resort to borrowing is spiraling out of control.

“It’s when the National Assembly starts to question the policies, practices and implementation of government that we get good governance. But if they’re just approving what the president brings, then the checks and balances won’t be done.

“We ask them to reflect on how Nigerians continue to suffer because of the IFFs. NASS should talk to the Central Bank of Nigeria to make sure they block the leaks. Indeed, all financial institutions are regulated by the CBN. We can’t lose those huge billions every year and CBN doesn’t show as much interest in blocking the leaks. They should discuss with the Minister of Finance how to block it. This undermines the progress of the country.

He underscored the need for African civil society organizations and their partners to properly problematize IFFs and develop specifically African policy responses.

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