Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that illicit flows compound the problems of corruption and impede efforts at sustainable economic growth.
According to him, the West African sub-region is not only a victim of illicit financial flows but also of human trafficking, arms and drugs trade with dire consequences on the wellbeing of its people and on national security.
Buhari stated this in his remark at the opening of the Munich Security Conference in Abuja.
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) launched a dedicated Transnational Security Report ahead of the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja on Saturday.
The report covers spotlights on transnational illicit flows – from the trafficking of goods, arms, and people, to illicit financial flows – which endanger global security by funding conflicts and perpetuating instability.
President Buhari also pointed out that the challenges posed by illicit outflows of resources have increased in recent years with attendant sophistication due to the fast pace of technological advancement.
“Illicit flows have further fuelled terrorism and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons,” he added.
He said that the West African sub-region is not only a victim of illicit financial flows but also of human trafficking, arms and drugs trade with dire consequences on the wellbeing of its people and on national security.
He said: “It is common knowledge that illicit flows compound the problems of corruption and impede efforts at sustainable economic growth.
“This is why I will continue to take decisive action to fight corruption and confront insecurity especially in the border areas.
“In addition, relevant agencies have also been mandated to work towards strengthening regional and international partnership to address these threats,” he said.
The president said to effectively combat illicit flows, it is necessary that the nations collectively bring adequate resources and reinforce capabilities to address transnational organised crime since no government can do it alone.
According to him, “I am aware that one of the key facilitators of transnational organised crime including illicit flows is the porous nature of our borders.
“This is a major challenge to our region. In this context, we will continue to count on the support of our international partners for new technologies to effectively police our borders.
“Here in the West African sub-region, we have taken important steps to address some of our security concerns through improved political governance as contained in the relevant regional mechanisms of ECOWAS, which I currently have the privilege of chairing,” he stated
Buhari also linked the increasing globalisation and advent of new technologies to the worsening security situations across the world.
Buhari said: “With the advent of globalisation and new technologies bringing nations and peoples closer, and creating new opportunities for interaction and trade, comes significant issues of security.
“We can see through the increasing number of evil actors, especially perpetrators of organised crime who profit from the illicit flows of assets out of the African continent.”