President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday challenged African countries to check the huge funds being illegally taken out of the continent.
This is just as the president also called on banks in the country to fund infrastructural projects that have capacity to positively impact on the continent’s economic development.
Jonathan stated this at separate closed-door meetings with delegation of the United Nations’ High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa led by Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa and top management of Ecobank Transnational Inc. Plc at State House, Abuja.
The group chief executive officer and managing director of Ecobank Transnational Inc., Thierry Tanoh, led the management of the bank to the State House.
Jonathan noted that the huge funds being illicitly taken out of Africa can solve its infrastructural and other problems, adding that “we must look within and check this hemorrhage”.
The president also appealed to the developed countries to assist Africa halt the trend, stating that Africa “needs robust assistance from the developed world” to check this outflow, because “corruption would be minimised if there are no places to hide the illicit funds”.
He challenged oil refineries worldwide to ask questions about the source of the crude they refine, and said the administration was taking definite steps to check the theft of crude oil from Nigeria.
Jonathan also called on the Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa to carry out an in-depth and comprehensive study of the issue and produce a template that will help the continent combat the menace.
He directed all relevant ministries and agencies of government to cooperate fully with the panel.
Earlier, Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa and chairman of the UN High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, said the continent currently loses at least $50 billion every year through illicit fund flows, and the panel was determined to study the problem and propose solutions.