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Leaders' Statement

Mr. Salaudeen Hashim

Senior Program Officer

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre

Abuja, Nigeria, Africa

Bio

Salaudeen Hashim, Senior Program Officer is a dedicated program professional with 10+ years providing outstanding support to countering narratives of violent extremism and the interplay of religion and conflict in Nigeria. He is skilled in research, analyzing data, writing and editing of reports. He is also adept managing multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining composure and a sense of humour.

Statement

Systemic Weaknesses and Illicit Financial Flows must be addressed to Effectively Confront Security Challenges in Nigeria

The decay in infrastructure, which Nigerians and residents suffer today, are direct offshoots of decades of corruption in governance. For instance, most roads remain impassable despite the huge monies budgeted and expended annually for construction and maintenance. The same is true of the health, education, agriculture, power sectors, etc. Over the years, the multiplier effects of corruption has incapacitated and killed thousands of people.

Corruption accounts for the thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) scattered in camps across the northern Nigeria. The IDPs still suffer deprivations in camps, despite the monies meant for their welfare. This evil has created room for the easy recruitment of youths into terrorism and other social vices.

The nation’s image has been battered before the international community, and our economic growth has been stifled. Corruption has also lowered the nation’s life expectancy and impacted negatively on livelihood of the citizens. As professed giant of Africa, this is unacceptable in the face of our vast human and material resources.

Nigeria accounted for more than 30% of all illegal financial transactions in Africa from 2002 to 2012. This blight on the toga of Nigeria is indeed lamentable, signposting as it does; the exportation of the corruption that abounds at home. Fundamentally, it is another pointer to the much vilified but unaddressed corruption in the country; and it is unfortunate that Nigeria keeps featuring among countries acknowledged for all the wrong reasons.

Curtailing illicit financial flows from the region—requires governments to implement measures to reduce corruption, strengthen regulatory oversight, improve government effectiveness, increase accountability, increase political and economic stability, and strengthen the rule of law. For instance, in order to curb tax evasion, African countries should enter into automatic exchange of information (AEI) agreements with countries where the proceeds of tax evasion are lodged. A lack of good governance makes it difficult for citizens to monitor related revenue collection and use. Governments should foster greater transparency and accountability by implementing open and transparent budgeting processes.

As a result of the increasing political momentum building behind IFFs’ eradication in Africa, we urge the Prime Minister and other world leaders to use the opportunity of this summit to commit resources to the passing of new legislation concerning trade mispricing, transfer pricing and financial transparency obligations in the future. Ideally, these new laws should be harmonized throughout the continent, either through the AU or Africa’s various regional economic communities.

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We are grateful to all the authors and contributing organisations within this Manifesto and to the partner organisations that helped to convene this landmark collection of anti-corruption statements from across a wide range of business and civil society leaders. The partners for the Leaders' Anti-Corruption Manifesto are The B Team, Thomson Reuters, the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the ONE campaign and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

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