ICPC Rallies Global Action Against Illicit Financial Flows

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The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has rallied a global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), including a call for global framework on IFFs similar to corruption.

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He made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal.

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ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, in a statement yesterday, said the conference would focus on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs.

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 The ICPC boss, according to the statement, emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace.

“The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework on corruption.

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“The IFFs is also a global issue but does not have a global framework.

“A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFFs which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” he stated.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had complicated the financial resources of African countries, hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop further hemorrhage of the financial resources on the continent.

Owasanoye also proffered legal and policy measures that should be implemented by African countries to address the IFFs risk.

These legal and policy measures, according to the ICPC boss include review of agreements entered into with Multinational Corporations (MNCs), review of inimical double taxation agreements.

Others are enactment of laws, rules or regulations on unexplained wealth order or lifestyle audit, introduction of civil forfeiture of assets and beneficial ownership standards; and design of a framework for trans-digital transactions.

He also advocated tougher measures against corrupt state officials who collude with the MNCs against their countries.

Earlier, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Rebecca Grynspan, said IFFs posed a huge challenge to African countries in realising the Sustainable Development Goals.

 “Africa requires $2.45trn to meet its SDG financing gap. We can close half of the SDG financing gap for Africa if we are able to curb IFFs,” she said. (NAN)

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