By Philomina Attah
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, says Nigeria requires strong institutions and systems to fight corruption and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
He made the recommendation while delivering a lecture to participants of Executive Intelligence Management Course 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja on Monday.
In his paper entitled: “Governance, Corruption, Rule of Law and Security in Africa”, Owasanoye said that the solution to corruption, economic and security problems bedeviling Nigeria lay in building strong institutions and systems with active collaboration from state and non-state actors.
“Corruption and weak governance are mutually reinforced. corruption and weak governance impact on development, peace and security in multiple ways.
“Diversion of public budget in the expenditure side of revenue, direct looting of treasury, IFFs, tax evasion, misapplication of funds, deliberate elephant projects, and contract and procurement abuse have huge implication for development.
“Without development, there can be no peace or security and without peace and security, development is a mirage.
“Massive investment in infrastructure is the route to development” he said.
In a related development, the ICPC Chairman has called on Sub-Saharan African Countries to reverse illicit financial flows and prioritise asset recoveries towards minimising the menace of corruption in the region.
Owasanoye, who gave the charge at the virtual conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa, called for the utilisation of proceeds from recovered assets to tackle the problem of poverty in the sub-region.
Delivering a paper entitled: “Understanding the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR)”, the ICPC boss said Africa could not eradicate poverty or meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) without prioritising asset recovery and domestic resource mobilization.
“The sure way to diminish corruption is to improve domestic resource mobilisation in the region and also to reverse illicit financial flows.
“It would be a dream to assume that we would achieve it without meeting the basic results that have been set for basic mobilization,” he noted.
He further stated that the world had lost huge revenues to corruption and illicit financial flows, adding that the country had recovered up to 700 million dollars of assets in the last six years.
Owasanoye called on heads of member states to adopt a policy on the use of asset recovery and management for development goals.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)