Kasim Sumaina and Udora Orizu in Abuja
Transparency International (TI) on Wednesday disclosed that Nigeria loses not less than $17 billion annually through illicit financial flows.
The Executive Director of TI and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, stated this in Abuja during a meeting of his organisation with its West Africa chapters.
While insisting that the political and business elite have deprived Nigerians of their entitlements through corruption in procurement, Rafsanjani said: “Our countries experience enormous challenges with public procurement, political integrity, illicit financial outflows, migration and many others. In Nigeria alone, $17 billion is lost annually to illicit financial outflows.
“Procurement is said to be responsible for 70% of corruption proceeds. Detached political representation and unaccountable political and business elite have deprived Nigeria, and I believe most of the other African countries, of their development potential.”
According to the TI director, the issue of corruption and lack of accountability could be tackled only in coalitions and through networks.
He specifically noted that the leaders perpetrating corruption in Nigeria and other African countries through procurement process on every sector have infiltrated the education sector, taking away fundamental rights of young boys and girls.
He said: “As the position papers show, corruption in education systems across ECOWAS has become common place, depriving citizens of their fundamental rights to personal development and the opportunity to realize their full potentials. Learning to read and write is a fundamental right.”
TI further gave a breakdown of statistics on educational illiteracy in Africa according to 2017 UNESCO report.
Rafsanjani said 38 per cent of African adults (some 153 million) are illiterates, saying two-thirds of women are not able to help their children with homework due to illiteracy.