Nigeria’s economy can be grown to $327bn in 2030 if corruption is reduced —Don
By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—A Professor of Economics at the University of Benin and non Executive Director of the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Mike Obadan, has said that the Nigerian economy could be grown to $327 billion in the year 2030 if corruption in the country was reduced to the level of Ghana, Malaysia and Colombia.
Prof. Obadan, who spoke at the Anti-money Laundering/Counter-Financing of Terrorism seminar organised by the Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, in Benin, Edo State, yesterday, insisted that with a reduced corruption ratio, West African countries could be at par with countries such as Indonesia and Singapore, adding that corruption and money laundering had retarded the development of the West Africa sub-region.
The renowned economist lamented that the occurrence of corruption naturally leads to money laundering as stolen assets of a public official are useless unless they are placed, layered, and integrated into the global financial network in a manner that does not raise suspicion.
He said, “Corruption generates huge profits/proceeds that need to be laundered or “cleaned” in order for them to have an appearance of legality or enter the financial system without the stigma of illegality.
“Due to the close link between corruption and money laundering, various international fora had noted that a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy must also include actions to prevent and control the laundering of corruption proceeds.”
In his address, the Director of Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit and GIABA national correspondent, Mr Francis Usani, said that the creation of GIABA was a response and contribution of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, to fight money laundering and corruption, which had enmeshed the economies of the sub-region with far reaching apprehension and consequences on the citizens.
In his remark, the Director-General of GIABA, who was represented by the Director of Programmes and Project of GIABA, Dr Buno Nduka, said that the primary mandate of GIABA was to develop measures to protect the economies of member states from abuse and the laundering of the proceeds of crimes and to strengthen cooperation amongst its member states.
The lecture was attended by a representative of the vice Chancellor of the UNIBEN, Prof. Faraday Orunmwense, students of the institution and other universities, such as the Benson Idahosa University, Benin, and Wellspring University, Benin.