The African Union (AU) has commenced an assessment of Nigeria’s response to illicit financial flows.
The assessment will focus on the national response level and implementation status of the recommendations of the AU High-Level Panel (AU HLP) on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
The assessment will also cover 12 other African countries.
The countries are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Tunisia.
The assessment will subsequently cover 55 African countries.
The Senior Adviser to the AU High Level Panel on IFFs, Amb. Maxwell Mkwezalamba and the Head of Secretariat of the panel, Ms Souad Aden-Osman, made this known at a technical validation workshop in Abuja.
The workshop was held at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Tuesday.
The technical validation workshop was convened by the ICPC in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Committee on Stopping Illicit Financial Flows from Nigeria and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa.
Mkwezalamba said that the assessment would be on African governments’ efforts to reduce illicit financial flows, in line with the 24th AU Assembly decisions on IFFs from Africa.
He explained that the outcome of the assessment would form the annual report of the Chair of the AU-HLP to the African Union Commission.
Mkwezalamba added that it would provide baseline information to guide the design of possible interventions to strengthen the capacities of AU member states to combat illicit financial flows and mobilize domestic revenues.
“The reports to be prepared include: country’s consolidated responses in line with the recommendations/decisions of the AU-HLP; a synthesis report covering, among others, main IFF risks.
“Whether the 2015 AU Assembly Decisions on IFFs from Africa have been adopted, whether there is a mechanism to coordinate the state institutions involved in combating IFFs and its effectiveness, and the capacity needs of the institutions involved in combating IFFs.
“And, a full report describing the wider economic context impacting on the country’s IFF risk exposure, determining the IFF channels and the scale of the outflows through the various channels.
“And, assessing the country’s exposure to tax havens and the state of implementation of the 24th AU Assembly decisions on IFFs from Africa,” the AU HLP Special Adviser stated.
The Head of Secretariat of the AU HLP on IFFs from Africa, Ms. Souad Aden-Osman, expounded that the assessment was the second phase of the panel’s work and would focus on national level actions by AU Member States.
She assured that the Secretariat of the AU- HLP would support efforts of the Inter-Agency Committee on Stopping Illicit Financial Flows from Nigeria and other African countries.
This, she added, would ensure timely finalization of the response matrix and synthesis report, as well as the preparation of the final report.
On the inauguration of a Technical Committee on Domestic Resource Mobilization, Aden-Osman said it would boost the capacity of African governments to adopt and implement efficient fiscal policies for better resource mobilization.
“This will boost African Governments’ capacities to adopt and implement efficient fiscal policies as the basis for better revenue collection, public expenditure management and debt management,” Aden-Osman added.
Earlier, ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, lauded the AU HLP chaired by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, for placing IFFs on the global agenda, and the inclusion of IFFs as Sustainable Development Goals 16, target 4.
“Today’s event highlights the fact that success in advocacy needs to be matched by continuous research to deepen understanding of the phenomenon of IFFs, its causes, facilitators and how it can be stemmed.
“Policy instruments and actions at domestic and international levels are also crucial.
“One key recommendation of the Report of the HLP is that African States should create avenues and mechanisms for information sharing and coordination among the various institutions and agencies of government responsible for preventing IFFs,” he said.