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3/12/2007

Africa at large: $140bn lost in corruption annually

Filed under: global islands,kenya — admin @ 8:06 am

Corruption drains Africa of over $140bn, the Chairman of the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has said. Ribadu, who disclosed this at the convocation lecture of the University of Abuja on Friday, said that
the African Union released the startling figure recently. The theme of the
lecture was ”The Anti-corruption crusade: Why, how and the journey so far.‘ He
said that there was the likelihood that greater part of the money, which
represented about 25 per cent of the continents official Gross Domestic
Product, was stolen from Nigeria.

The EFCC boss also said that the African Development Bank indices had shown that
corruption was responsible for the loss of approximately 50 per cent of tax
revenue. He continued, ‘Some eight years ago, the Central Bank (of Nigeria)
told us that N200bn was lost in depositors— savings under a regime we now call
the failed bank regime. ‘This incidence was an extravagance act of the most
wicked proportion and a savage violation of thousand of small income family
savings by a gang of elite bank robbers who chose the media of the banking halls
to rip off people of their hard earned income.‘

He said that there was also a recent case of N18bn that was recovered from a
head of the law enforcement institution in the country. ‘All this, fantastic as
they are, pales into insignificance when we recall the mind-bogging example of
the much reported brazen profligacy of our ruling elite.‘ I am talking here of
the 220bn pounds (about $500 billion) of development assistance that has been
stolen from this country since independence to date by past leaders of our
country,‘ he said. He challenged participants at the lecture to consider
development infrastructure the stolen amount would have helped the country to
finance. ‘If we do not know how to compute the concrete cost of this loot, we
can at least relate it with the fact that it represents six times the value in
money that went into rebuilding Europe via the famous Marshal Plan at the end of
the second World War,‘ he said.

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