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Market Digest Nigeria

Finance

‘Illicit financial flows hurting economy’

ILLICIT financial outflow is haemorrhaging the Nigerian economy, a university don, Prof Esosa Bob-Osaze has raised the alarm.

 

He said the channels of this financial outflow is multiple, adding that stakeholders, especially the Federal Government needed to do something to avert further economic slip. Prof Bob-Osaze who spoke during the maiden public lecture organised by Nigerian College of Accountancy in Kwall, Bassa Local Government of Plateau State, said the government must take decisive steps to block further illicit financial flows out of the country. Speaking on: Illicit Financial and Accounting Disclosure: The Place of Professional Accountants, he said Nigeria is a leading source of financial outflow in Africa.

Some of the sources of financial flows from Nigeria to Europe and other parts of the world, according to Prof Esosa include tax evasion/avoidance, manipulative trade pricing, money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption, illegal exploitation, smuggling and trafficking among others. He said: “Available evidence of financial flows out of Nigeria shows that it is a major source for illicit financial transfer out of Africa. “Studies by global financial integrity shows that Nigeria tops sources of capital flight from Africa.

“Reports by High Level Panel (HLP) on illicit financial flows from Africa showed that Nigeria accounted for 30.5 per cent of illicit financial flows from Africa. “If this trend is not checked now, the future of the country therefore is also not guaranteed because the country’s economic crisis will go on for long. “Illicit flows have serious, systematic adverse effects on the economic and political development of poor countries like Nigeria. “Illicit financial flows constitute a conduit that drains resources out of Nigeria through foul, illegal means thereby depriving the country of meaningful growth and development.”

The guest speaker recommended that forensic accounting be instituted into current accounting curriculum of the profession as a way of reducing illicit financial flows. He urged professional accountants to acquire forensic accounting skills so as to be on top of their jobs and to also helped the country resolved its financial flows within and outside the country. He also urged then to be experienced in e-commerce, electronic funds transfer, interbank settlement and international trade. Earlier in a welcome address, the director general of Nigeria College of Accountancy Dr. Kayode Olushola described professional accountant is a gatekeeper who has squired broad-based knowledge and skills of accounting practices, and are very key in management of nation’s flows

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