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Illicit Financial Flows: FG Lost $157.5b in 9 Years

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  • Illicit Financial Flows: FG Lost $157.5b in 9 Years

President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria lost an estimated $157.5 billion to illicit financial flows between 2003 and 2012.

The president made the statement on Wednesday in New York during the 74th United Nations General Assembly under the theme, “Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good Practices on Assets Recovery and Return to Foster Sustainable Development.”

President Buhari explained that loss of assets of that size, resulted in dearth of resources “to fund public services or to alleviate poverty,” in Nigeria.

“This is why, as Africans, we have no choice but to break the back of corruption,” Buhari stated.

Speaking on corruption, the President, though a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said corruption impedes socio-economic development in Africa.

Therefore, “that is why our government has made it a war we intend to win. We will give all it takes to ensure there is no hiding place for purveyors of corrupt practices who are truly enemies of the people.”

On asset recovery, President Buhari said, “In the last five years, our government has made significant progress to curb corruption, saying “We have recovered millions of dollars stolen from our country.”

He, however, noted that “there are still a lot of other funds that are stuck in foreign bank accounts due to international laws, different jurisdictions and justice systems that make it difficult for repatriation.”

Defining Illicit Financial Flows as “illegal movement of funds from one country to another,” President Buhari lamented that, “These flows deplete Africa’s internally generated revenues, foreign exchange earnings, reduce tax revenues, drain natural resources, facilitate corruption and stunt private sector development.”

The President listed tax avoidance as another form of illicit financial flow, he quoted the Tax Justice Network and the International Monetary Fund to have estimated over US$200 billion per year as “being lost by developing countries when multinational enterprises do not pay taxes in the countries where they made the profit.”

“This amount is significantly higher than the annual development aid received by these countries which are estimated to be about US$143 billion,” he added.

The President Buhari thanked the organisers of the meeting designed to finding “pragmatic ways to promote international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return, as an arm of sustainable development policies in Africa,” President Buhari also lauded their “shared commitment to root out corruption from our continent.”

“I am motivated by the belief that, if we join hands, we can bequeath to our children an Africa that is not defined by corruption,” the president added.

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 market.

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Finance

FG Implores Parastatals to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy Initiative

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digital economy

FG Tells MDAs to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the management of Dr. Isa Pantami, has implored all the federal government parastatals to promote and safeguard the country’s digital economy initiative.

Dr. Isa Pantami, while presenting the keynote address in a virtual forum organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),  said based on the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for critical data infrastructure and broadband is now high.

The minister urged government parastatals to put in effort to uphold and promote government’s digital economy initiative designed to reduce the effect of the pandemic on the nation. He also disclosed that the interests of all Nigerians would also be protected by the government.

Federal government will continue to develop its digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria. Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that are under the supervision of my ministry, now have special departments that promotes digital economy initiative and I urge them and all other parastatals under my supervision, to ensure that they promote the digital economy initiative of the federal government in order to maintain investor’s confidence and to protect the interest of Nigerians, especially telecoms consumers.

Government on its part will ensure that the interests of telecoms companies and the interest of Nigerians are protected. Government is currently addressing the challenges in the cost of investments such as the issue of vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure, and President Muhammadu Buhari has officially directed all security institutes, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), to protect telecoms investments in the country,” Pantami said.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when making his presentation said “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and sharply ravaged the globe, Nigeria is no exception. Governments therefore, faced unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 pandemic. The impact affects most sectors of the global economy, ranging from health, to education, to finance, to trade and investment.

While explaining the Commission’s efforts at resolving consumer-related issues, Danbatta noted that less than 500,000 people activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code as at 2015 when the code was introduced by the Commission but presently, over 22,722,366 people line on the code.

He also made it known that the commission has resolved 98 per cent of service-related complaints received from telecoms consumers from January 2019 to April 2020.

according to Danbatta “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.

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Mambilla Power Project: FG Spends N1.2bn on Survey, Sensitisation 

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FG Releases N1.2bn for 3,050MW Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project

The Federal Government has released a total sum of N1.2 billion to the Taraba State Government for the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project to finally take-off.

Investigations have revealed that the funds were released for the sensitisation of host communities around the site where the plant is to be constructed and survey works.

The N2 trillion power project is to be located in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State after four decades of on and off planning.

Checks revealed that Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power, visited Taraba State last week, where he met with Darius Ishaku, the State Governor, and discussed the final take-off of the 3,050MW project, among other things.

Mamman on Wednesday had tweeted some of the highlights of his Wednesday visit, saying the Federal Government and Taraba State Government discussed how to speed up the project.

He said, “I paid a visit to the Taraba State Government House where I met with the governor and brother.

“We held discussions centered on how to speed up the final take-off of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project and other power issues affecting the state.

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FBN Holdings Boost First Bank CAR With N25 Billion Capital Injection

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FBN Holdings

First Bank Boosts CAR With N25 Billion Capital Injection

FBN Holdings Plc announced it has boosted the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of its commercial banking subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited by N25 billion.

According to the statement released by the bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, the capital injection represents part of the net proceeds of the company’s divestment from FBN Insurance Limited.

It noted that the capital injection upped the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio to 16.53 percent –before capitalising year to date profit– as at June 2020.

Oyewale Ariyibi, the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, was quoted as saying “the divestment is in line with the Group’s medium to long term strategic objectives. The divestment has unlocked significant value embedded in the former subsidiary which is being leveraged to strengthen the core banking business for which the Group is renowned“.

Ariyibi further stated that the Company’s objective is to increase capital across the Group in order to drive business growth, enhance efficiency and improve overall shareholders’ value.

Uk Eke, the Group Managing Director, who commented on the company’s performance for the first half of 2020 said “The H1 2020 financial results are impressive and reconfirm our consistent focus on enhanced shareholder value. Despite the difficult operating environment, the results demonstrate our capacity to deliver exceptional services to our customers in these uncertain times. Looking ahead, we remain cautious, but confident that our business is fundamentally strong to surmount any future challenge towards delivering superior financial performance“.

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