Nigeria Loses 60% Income to Illicit Financial Flow—ICPC
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has raised a fresh alarm over the loss of about 60 per cent of that Nigeria income to illicit financial flows.
Chairman of the anti-corruption body, Mr Bolaji Owasanoye, decried this huge loss at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum, a popular interview platform for ministers, heads of MDAs and diplomatic missions as well as other leading members of the society, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Illicit financial flow, which is the illegal transfer of money to another country, often occurs through trade over-invoicing.
It occurs when exporters or importers deliberately misreport the value, quantity or nature of goods and services in order to evade taxes, take advantage of tax incentives, avoid capital controls or launder money.
According to the ICPC Chairman, illicit financial flow is undermining Nigeria’s economic development, blaming the corrupt practice on delinquent expatriates who engage in all forms of sharp practices to evade tax and compromise their host country’s internally generated revenue.
“Sharp practice like over-invoicing, for example, is when a commodity that is sold at one dollar out there is tagged $100 here in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr Owasanoye, who affirmed the readiness of the agency to tackle such criminal acts, called for support of Nigerians, noting that the focus had remained on corruption among holders of public offices.
He reiterated the need to end the criminality by foreign companies, saying it remains a threat to the country’s financial stability.
During the session, the news agency’s Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle, described corruption as a cankerworm that must be eliminated in the country if it must witness growth and development.
The managing director, who commended the ICPC management for its sustained campaign against corruption in the country, pledged to partner the commission in its campaign.
Mr Ponle said NAN had evolved from a text-only agency to a multimedia outfit offering a bouquet of services which include audio, video and pictures.
He urged the ICPC to embrace the diverse products and services on offer by NAN which includes SMS, NAN General News Service, NAN PR Wire as well as its flagship NAN Forum.