Over N177trn Laundered Outside Nigeria Since Independence -The Economist



Areport by The Economist said $582bn or N177.5trn has been laundered from Nigeria since 1960.

The report was citing an estimate by United Kingdom-based think-tank, Chatham House.

The report said, “Chatham House, a British think-tank, estimates that $582bn has been stolen from Nigeria alone since it won independence in 1960.”

The report also stated that the British International Corruption Unit has recovered $117m or N35.69bn from Nigeria since 2006.

“Britain’s International Corruption Unit says its investigations have led to the confiscation of $117m in laundered loot since 2006.

“Another £791m has been frozen worldwide thanks to its work.

“Seizures are still the exception,” Jason Sharman, an expert in international corruption at Cambridge University, told the magazine.

“Dirty money still gets through most of the time.”

The publication however, observes that the European Union and the British Government have tried to restrict the flow of unexplained funds entering their shores.

It cites Britain’s ‘unexplained wealth order,’ which mandates politically exposed persons to say how exactly their wealth outdoors supersedes their income.

Advocacy groups have explained that what is important is stopping ‘dodge funds’ from entering banks in the first instance.

“If there is a gap, then the money-launderers will find it,” Max Heywood, Transparency International’s global advocacy coordinator, told the medium.

The Economist however, faulted African states like Nigeria for making efforts to return illicit funds work in favour of the citizens.

While African governments complain that Western governments do not return stolen funds, the magazine says incidents such as the return of James Ibori into the Nigerian political landscape are reasons why institutions like the World Bank develop programmes to make repatriated monies work for the everyday African.

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