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AfDB expresses worry over yearly loss of $50b to illicit financial flows

AfDB Building

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has expressed worry over yearly loss of over $50 billion to trade malpractices, abusive transfer pricing, criminality, corruption and outright theft of natural resources in Africa.

It said that if the trend is not curtailed, it could have serious financial crises, austerity and widespread poverty for the people.

The Senior Director, African Development Bank in Nigeria, Dr. Ebrima Fall, made the disclosure yesterday in his message to a workshop on ‘‘strengthening the role of parliament in combating Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (IFFs)’’ holding in Abuja.

Fall said that the workshop points on the need to tackle IFFs in general but also speaks to some of the key findings of the high level panel as promoting transparency is essential, while commercial routes of illicit Financial Flows need closer monitoring and that more efforts are needed in asset recovery and repatriation.

He stated: ‘’The need for transparency is obvious because the main motive of most perpetrators of Illicit Financial flows is to hide wealth from tax authorities and law enforcement agencies, which is why, information on beneficial ownership is very important.

Similarly, abusive transfer pricing is a key route for IFFs while the tracking and recovery of stolen assets continues to pose significant challenges.’’

He explained that one key finding of the panel was that resolving the problem of illicit financial flows required political will and cooperation stressing that the adoption of its report and recommendations by means of a Special Declaration by African Heads of State and Government was a key first step taken in this regard.

He said: ‘This very workshop further contributes to on-going implementation of the recommendations of the panel, this is because it is bringing key issues in the effort to tackle illicit financial flows to the direct attention of legislators.”

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