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Nigeria lost $130bn to corruption in 8 years -US Report

NIGERIA might have lost 130 billion dollars from 2000 to 2008 to illicit financial flows, a new report issued by US-based group,

Global Financial Integrity (GFI), said.

The report, entitled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000-2009,’’ said Nigeria had the 10th highest measured illicit outflows in the developing world, an average of 15 billion dollars per year.

The North America correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the GFI report ranks countries according to magnitude of illicit outflows.

According to the report, China is ranked the highest country of measured illicit outflows in the developing world with 2.18 trillion dollars, followed by Russia, 427 billion dollars, and Mexico, 416 billon dollars.

The report also shows the annual outflows for each country and breaks outflows down into two categories of drivers: trade mispricing and “other,” which includes “kickbacks, bribes, embezzlement, and other forms of official corruption.”

Others in the top 10 are Saudi Arabia, 302 billion dollars; Malaysia, 291 billion dollars; United Arab Emirates; 276 billion dollars; Kuwait, 242 billion dollars; Venezuela, 157 billion dollars, and Qatar 138 billion dollars.

Primary findings from the report said illicit outflows increased from $1.06 trillion in 2006 to approximately $1.26 trillion in 2008.

It found that approximately $6.5 trillion was removed from the developing world from 2000 through 2008.

According to the report, average annual illicit outflows from developing countries averaged 725 billion dollars to 810 billion dollars per year, over the 2000-2008 period measured.

“Illicit flows increased in current dollar terms by 18.0 per cent per annum from 369.3 billion dollars at the start of the decade to 1.26 trillion dollars in 2008.

“When adjusted for inflation, the real growth of such outflows was 12.7 percent,” it said.

The report put real growth of illicit flows over nine years in the African region at 21.9 per cent, compared with 24.3 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa, 23.1 per cent in developing Europe, Asia 7.85, and Western Hemisphere 5.18 per cent.

The author of the report, Dev Kar, a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist, said bribery, theft, kickbacks and tax evasion were the greatest conduit for the illicit financial flows.

He said oil exporting countries were becoming more important sources of illicit capital.

GFI director, Raymond Baker, said every year, developing countries were losing 10 times the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) remitted for poverty alleviation and economic development.

“This report measures the quantity and pattern of these harmful outflows and provides stark proof of the impact of these illicit financial practices,” Baker said.

GFI said the authors of the report used a World Bank model to calculate developing countries’ missing billions.

-Tribune

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