Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that illicit flows of goods and services from across the borders compound the problems of corruption and impede efforts towards 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, Saturday.
The report covers selected spotlights of 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 fueled 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.
The president said to effectively combat illicit the 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, 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,” he said. “In this context, we will continue to count on the support of our international partners for new technologies to effectively police our borders.”
All the same, he noted that “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.”