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Africa Losing $80bn Annually to Illicit Financial Flows -Ex-TI Boss

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Malaysian Ringgits And Stock Boards Inside RHB Investment Bank
  • Africa Losing $80bn Annually to Illicit Financial Flows -Ex-TI Boss

The Chairperson of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, Akere Muna, on Monday disclosed that Africa is losing between $50bn and $80bn annually through illicit financial outflows.

Muna disclosed this in a keynote address he delivered at a Conference on Promoting International Co-operation in Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery to Foster Sustainable Development held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The former Vice Chair of Transparency International said despite the inflow of development assistance into the continent, Africa still remained what he called a net creditor.

He said, “Our continent is losing anywhere from $50-$80bn annually through illicit financial outflows, and despite the inflow of development assistance, Africa still remains a net creditor.

“Some will zero in on the numbers, arguing that the magnitude has been skewed by one measure or another. This is a non-issue, as the magnitude of these outflows is undeniable. The exactitude of the figures is secondary.

“Global capital flows have grown much faster than GDP and trade since 1980 but the global financial system continues to look unprepared and, in some cases, simply reluctant to effectively regulate large volumes of cross-border flows.”

Muna described public data as an essential tool in order to track Illicit financial flows, adding that access to records on beneficial ownership through country-by-country reporting appears as the ultimate way to go.

He said for illicit financial flows to be tracked, there was the need to know how they move.

According to him, to recuperate them, there was the need to know where the flows are parked.

“If we do not know who the beneficial owners are in business transactions, it is very difficult for the funds to be reclaimed.

“Exacerbating these problems in the phase is the use of real estate and luxury goods, and even large-scale farming to park illicit funds,” he added.

He described the fight as global, hence the need to be engaged by the originating countries and the destination countries with the same vigour.

Muna lauded the Muhammadu Buhari administration for making the fight against corruption its number one priority.

He noted that the fight against corruption on the continent is the fight for the soul of Africa.

He added, “As you know or must have found out by now, when you fight corruption, it fights back.

“The fight against corruption in our continent is indeed the fight for the soul of Africa.

“How much longer will we watch our resources depleted and the future of our children mortgaged for the sake of a greedy few?

“The winds of change are blowing across our continent, and they are inevitable. Our young people know better, want better and deserve better.

“For those who feel that their own personal interest can always take precedence over that of their people, they should take a good look at history. We can certainly hide to do certain things, but it is certain that we will never be able to always hide the things we do.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Banking Sector

CBN to Extend Credit Risk Management System to OFIs

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In an effort to curb growing bad debt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will extend its Credit Risk Management System to Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) operating in Nigeria to protect them from bad debtors.

According to the apex bank, this is important following the successful implementation of the credit risk system in other lending institutions operating in Nigeria.

The bank disclosed this in a circular titled ‘Credit Risk Management System: Commencement of enrolment of all Development Finance Institutions, Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Banks and Finance Companies’ and signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, on Monday.

In part, the circular read, “As part of efforts to promote a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, the CBN introduced the CRMS to improve credit risk management in commercial, merchant and non-interest banks as well as to prevent predatory borrowers from undermining the banking system.

“With the successful implementation of the CRMS in deposit money banks, it has become expedient to commence the enrolment of Other Financial Institutions on the CTMS platform.

“Accordingly, all DFIs, MfBs, PMBs and FCs are required to report all credit facilities (principal and interest) to the CRMs and to update same on monthly basis.

“OFIs shall note the Bank Verification Numbers and Tax Identification Numbers are the only basis for regulatory renditions”.

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Banking Sector

BoI Grows Assets by 78.8% to N1.86 Trillion

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The Bank of Industry Group concluded the 2020 financial year with a 78.8 per cent growth of assets from N1.04tn to N1.86tn between 2019 and 2020.

A statement by the bank on Monday said the increase was driven to a large extent by the successful debt syndication of €1bn and $1bn that were concluded in March and December 2020 respectively.

BoI stated that the group’s financial statement demonstrated resilience and strength, noting that the period had significant challenges in the operating environment on account of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

“It also indicates synergy with the various interventions developed by the Federal Government, the Central Bank as well as other strategic partners towards ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on Nigerian enterprises,” the statement said.

The group’s total equity increased by 14.8 per cent from N293.08bn in the previous year to N336.48bn in 2020.

It added that as a reflection of the adverse impact of the challenging operating environment on growth of new facilities, loans and advances grew marginally in 2020 by 1.3 per cent to N749.84bn from the 2019 position.

The bank explained that this was largely due to the economic slowdown in the year as well as the various interventions and support initiated by the bank for its customers.

“The bank reviewed and restructured all its managed projects under the CBN intervention programme with interest rate reduction from nine to five per cent per annum for a period of one year and moratorium extension of three months (with a possible extension up to 12 months),” it said.

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Banking Sector

TAJBank Deploys NQR Solution To Ease Customer Transactions

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TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest bank, has announced the deployment of the NQR Payment solution, an indigenous Quick Response Code (QRC) by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), for merchants and customers as the newest addition to its innovative e-business channels.

The NQR Payment solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform developed for merchants and customers to receive and make payments for goods and services in a quick, easy, contactless and secure manner.

A statement signed by the Founder/Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr. Hamid Joda, indicated that the ingenious solution would further drive TAJBank’s culture of innovation and create a seamless payment experience for its rapidly growing individual and corporate customers in their banking transactions.

“We are excited to have this payment channel introduced into the nation’s financial system as an addition to other innovative solutions we have deployed over the past few months.

This is a proof that, as we have said in our communications signature line, TAJBank’s interest is always in our customers”, Joda enthused.

In his remarks, the non-interest lender’s Chief Marketing Officer/Co-Founder, Mr. Sherif Idi, also maintained that the deployment of the NQR payment solution would revolutionize the e-payment experience and open new frontiers for small, medium and large scale businesses who are major stakeholders of the bank.

Since it commenced operations in the non-interest banking segment of the financial services industry, TAJBank is noted for its impeccable track record of growth and innovation, rendering exceptional quality services to customers.

The lender’s NQR solution is open to all customers of the bank, both merchants and individuals, across all its branches and digital channels globally.

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