By David Agba Abuja
Weighed down by monumental financial crime and deep rooted corruption among government officials, the federal government is seeking more international collaborations against illicit fi nancial fl ows to drive accelerated revenue growth and improve government effi ciency.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on the strength of this is leading the campaign against corruption at the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings, holding in Washington. Th e Minister is participating in a range of events focused on diff erent aspects of the federal government’s economic reform agenda. At her opening event, she gave an address to the Global Parliamentary Conference, alongside parliamentarians from around the world, focused on Nigeria’s economic reform agenda and the need for strong executive and legislative collaboration.
Addressing senior representatives from the World Bank and IMF, as well as over 150 parliamentarians the Minister called for greater focus on collaboration in illicit fi nancial fl ows from Africa as a core pillar of the government’s strategy to signifi cantly enhance domestic government revenue and deliver sustainable economic growth.
“The government is focused on resetting the Nigerian economy by addressing our traditional over-reliance on oil revenues and establishing the basis for sustainable non-oil revenue growth. To improve non-oil revenues, we have to address illicit capital flows. When stolen money is transferred from Nigeria or other African countries, there are too few questions asked by those countries that receive the funds, but when we identify those funds as stolen and seek to recover them, there are too many questions being asked. Th ere is money sitting in foreign bank accounts that we have spent over a decade trying to recover.
Th at is money that could deliver signifi cant value for Nigeria as we seek to increase spending on critical infrastructure and establish a basis for long term sustainable growth. I hope that the Automatic Exchange of Information scheme coming into force next year will be a step towards achieving greater transparency, but we need more collaboration amongst parliamentarians in Africa, and across the World to ensure that this situation improves and those recipient countries are held to account.