About 50 billion US dollars is estimated to be stolen in Africa yearly, mostly by corrupt Nigerians, the Makurdi Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Johnson Babalola, said on Thursday.
Babalola stated this on Thursday during the Commission’s walk in commemoration of the African Anti Corruption Day celebration in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
He recalled the 2003 anti corruption summit of African leaders in Mozambique where it was agreed to sensitize the public on the issue of corruption and that a day be set aside as a day for anti corruption.
“It has been estimated that about 50 billion US dollars has been syphoned from Africa on yearly basis for illicit financial flow, and a chunk of it is done from Nigeria as the giant of Africa.”
Speaking on this year’s theme, “Towards a Common African Position on Asset Recovery”, the EFCC boss stressed the need to sentisise the people of the state and Nigerians at large to be involved the anti corruption campaign of the federal government.
“The EFCC cannot do it alone. We depend on the good people of Nigeria to support us and make sure the efforts of EFCC are complimented. What we need to do as a people is to pass the message across to all Nigerians that corruption retards progress and is antithetical to all good things that is known and identified with democracy and all that the country stands for,” he said.
He regretted that the Islamist insurgency currently plaguing the country is as a result of corruption because, according to him, monies that are supposed to be voted and spent on the people to create jobs and provide amenities to ensure the Nigerians systems are working, have been stolen.
“Every resources we have to make sure Nigerians live well have all been stolen and are in private pockets. Most of these people who stole our commonwealth use them to purchase assets. There is need for Nigerians to stand and expose all these stolen property.
“By the time we recover these property, it will go a long way in ameliorating the economic problems that this country is having. We are telling Nigerians that if they see something, they should say something.
“We are out to sensitise our people that these assets traced to these thieving Nigerians need to be traced and recovered. Some people have dedicated their lives to stealing Nigerians money and we must stop them,” Babalola stated.