Nigeria, the world’s seventh largest producer of hydrocarbon, accounts for about 68.1 per cent of the total revenue Africa is losing annually as a result of illegal transfer of revenues abroad.
The report of the Thabo Mbeki High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa adopted on Sunday by African Union Heads of State and Government at their summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia said about $40.9billion (about N6.87trillion) of an estimated $60billion (about N10.08trillion) lost through such transfers from Africa are traced to Nigeria.
The funds are stolen through corruption, tax evasion and illegal transfer of profits by multinationals, the AU said.
Nigeria, which produces an average of 2.3million barrels of oil daily as the leading hydrocarbon producer in Africa, is being ravaged by poverty and underdevelopment.
The report also identified Egypt and Morocco as the other countries with the largest estimates of illicit financial flows statistics of $28.2billion and $20.3billion respectively.
Cumulatively, Nigeria and Egypt topped the list of ten African countries by illicit financial transfers between 1970 and 2008, with $217.7billion (about N36.57trillion), or 30.5 per cent, and $105.2billion (about N17.67trillion), or 14.7 per cent respectively, while South Africa had $81.8billion (about N13.74trillion), or 11.4 per cent.
Concerned by the high losses through these illegal transfers, which was identified in 2011 as one of the threats to the inability of most resource-rich countries in Africa to meet their millennium development goals, MDGs, the AU at its 4th Joint African Union Commission/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, AUC/ECA, Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development constituted the Mbeki Panel to review the underlying issues stalling Africa’s accelerated and sustained development objective.
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