The bulk of the estimated US$90 billion leaving Africa annually through illicit financial flow to overseas comes from Nigeria, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), reported.
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye of ICPC said on Thursday at the 2019 Africa Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Day in Lagos.
The continent as a whole, certainly receives less than that amount in development assistance from countries of Europe and America yearly, he said.
“Since the proceeds of crime ends in assets, stashed mostly abroad, it is humane that Nigeria adopts the strategy of asset recovery and return to the source as one of the cardinal points of her national anti-corruption strategy,” he said.
Owasanoye, represented by Mr Gododaye West, the ICPC Legal Adviser, Lagos office, said that the negative impact of corruption on the continent’s economic development was very obvious.
He said that it was more poignant that the worst-hit victims of the crime of corruption remain the vulnerable poor and marginalised individuals.
Owasanoye said the commission was poised to squarely address grand corruption associated with the social welfare sector which had impacted negatively on the lives of ordinary citizens.
“The new policy focus of the commission is to ensure effective utilisation of budgetary allocations to social welfare and human development.
“On the other hand, the commission intends to use provisions of its law to deny corrupt persons use of whatever they have stolen from Nigerian people and make more resources available for development.’’
ICPC was currently tracking the execution of constituency capital projects across the country so as to ensure that the projects are properly executed and delivered to the communities they were meant for.
“As we join our brothers to create awareness on the menace of corruption and engender collective action against it today, we need to deeply understand the direct and indirect impact of corruption on all of us.
“With corruption, citizens suffer one denial or the other; in social service, physical infrastructure and their general wellbeing,” he said.
Owasanoye enjoined all stakeholders to ultimately support the government’s effort in asset recovery for national development.
Also, Mr Tosin Adesina, the Chairman, Lagos State chapter Lead Connected Development, said that stolen assets in trillions had reduced the level of growth and development in the country.
Adesina urged Nigerians to collaborate with the commission to fight corruption.