Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), says Nigeria is losing around 60 percent of its financial income due to illicit financial flows.
Owasanoye said this when a delegation from the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) led by its Managing Director, Mr. Buki Ponle, visited the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
NAN reports that illicit financial flow, which consists of transferring money illegally to another country, often occurs through commercial overbilling.
It occurs when exporters or importers deliberately misstate the value, quantity, or nature of goods and services in order to evade taxes, take advantage of tax incentives, avoid capital controls, or launder money.
According to the president of the ICPC, the illicit financial flow is undermining Nigeria’s economic development.
He blamed the corrupt practice on defaulting expatriates who engage in all forms of acute practices to evade taxes and compromise internally generated income in the host country.
“An acute practice like overbilling, for example, is when a product that sells for a dollar abroad is labeled as $ 100 here in Nigeria,” he said.
Owasanoye, who affirmed the agency’s willingness to address such criminal acts, called for the support of Nigerians.
The president of the CIPC said that attention has been kept on corruption among public office holders, while the illicit financial flow is worse.
The anti-corruption chief reiterated the need to put an end to the criminality of foreign companies, saying that it continues to be a threat to the country’s financial stability.
Previously, Ponle had described corruption as a worm that must be eliminated in the country if it is to witness growth and development.
The managing director, who congratulated the ICPC leadership for its sustained campaign against corruption in the country, pledged to collaborate with the commission in its campaign.
Ponle said that NAN had evolved from a text-only agency to a multimedia team offering a suite of services including audio, video and images.
He urged ICPC to embrace the various products and services that NAN offers, including SMS, NAN General News Service, NAN PR Wire, as well as its flagship NAN Forum.
NAN Forum is a popular interview platform for ministers, heads of MDA and diplomatic missions, as well as other prominent members of society.
The highlight of the occasion was the exchange of memories and publications from Owasanoye and Ponle.