By INNOCENT ODOH |
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for the full implementation of the FACTI Panel’s final report to address illicit financial flows (IFFs), stressing that it will help countries recover from the debilitating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nigerian President made this call in his address while participating at the virtual launch of the FACTI Panel, Report in New York, United States on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
Buhari noted that the final report was reflective of the diversity of perspectives and the delicate views and priorities of different stakeholders on the subject of combating illicit financial flows and strengthening good practices on assets recovery and return to foster sustainable development.
“We are of the view that the report covers, to a substantive extent, the enormity of efforts required to tackle the multifaceted dimensions of illicit financial flows, including harmful tax policies and practices, abusive transfer pricing, trade mis-pricing and mis-invoicing, illegal exploitation of natural resources as well as official corruption, and organized crime.
“The FACTI Panel’s report clearly shows that the magnitude of the resources that are lost to illicit financial flows are enormous and that IFFs rob the majority of our citizens of a better future. The report also revealed that IFFs divert substantive financial resources from public priorities and reduce fiscal expenditure on public services, including in areas where women and youth should be the major beneficiaries,” the Nigerian leader said.
He said further that in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, such robbery and its subsequent limitation of fiscal space can lead to austerity which is the last thing that economies need at a time of deep recession.
“We agree with the Panel that if not addressed at all levels, IFFs would continue to create myriad of criminal opportunities that ease the way for powerful individuals and more advanced economies to illegally accumulate resources, while hindering national reforms in developing countries as well as thwarting the global effort to improve financial integrity, transparency, and accountability.
“Let me emphasize that for the international community to recover better from the impact of the covid-19 pandemic and accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, we must implement all recommendations contained in the FACTI Panel’s final report. These recommendations, if implemented, have the potential to significantly reduce existing structures that make it impossible for countries to generate and retain a sizeable chunk of their resources,” he added.