Minister Speaks On How Easy It Is To Loot Govt. Funds
The Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun has disclosed that it is easier to steal money from the government’s treasury compared to the process of recovering the looted proceeds.
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said this at a three-day conference organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
She noted that Nigeria has been fighting to recover the illicit funds of corruption that have been transferred out of the country over the past 20 years, hence, the need to adopt preventive measures.
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Here’s what the Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, said:
“My experience from the little time I’ve spent as a minister is that it’s far too easy to do these things in Nigeria, and we’ve got to make it much more difficult.
“A lot has been done about speaking about the problem. We need to move to how to solve the problem. From the Ministry of Finance’s perspective, our view is that prevention is better than cure.
“Recovering money is exciting but it’s difficult. It takes years. We’re still battling to recover money that was looted from Nigeria 20 years ago.
“So, my perspective as Finance minister and as an accountant is: how do we block the money from getting out in the first place?
“How do we strengthen our controls? How do we create the early warning systems that tell us to flag certain transactions?
“Let’s stop the money going out; let’s stop the loss, and then we can work on recovery.
“We are taking steps to improve tax administration, to improve compliance and just to generally make it a little more difficult for people to loot the treasury.”
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At the conference themed, ‘Promoting International Co-operation in Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery to Foster Sustainable Development’, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, called for foreign banking institutions involved in transactions of illicit funds abroad to also be punished to curb the act.
While the Vice President advocated for delegitimising financial institutions that aid looting of nation funds to foreign banks, PACAC chairman, Professor Itse Sagay revealed that 55 top government officials and private businessmen illicitly diverted N1.35 trillion and $7.5 million between 2006 and 2013.
BuzzNigeria had earlier reported about the recent crash in crude oil price which has hiked Nigeria’s debt up to N19.16 trillion as analysed by the country’s Debt Management Office.