AHMED Lawan Kuru, Managing Director and CEO Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, has said that curbing Illicit Funds Flows, IFFs, requires strong international cooperation and concerted action by developed and developing countries, including Nigeria in partnership with the private sector and civil societies.
Kuru said in his keynote address at the Realnews 11 th Lecture Anniversary on Tuesday in Lagos stated that the banks have critical roles to play just as the World Bank, especially with its technical knowledge and global convening power must join forces, especially with the weaker countries to combat the scourge.
According to him, IFFs pose a huge challenge to political, and economic security around the world, particularly to developing countries.
He noted that corruption, organized crime, illegal exploitation of natural resources, fraud in international trade and tax evasion are as harmful as the diversion of money from public priorities.
“Activities such as illegal logging, fishing, and mineral extraction (like we are experiencing in Zamfara and Enugu States) are strongly connected with deforestation, the depletion of fishing stocks and environmental degradation as well as the impoverishment of individuals and communities who rely on those resources to sustain their existence,” he said, adding: “Our institutions both public and private must therefore put measures in place to frustrate IFFs like we have tried to do at AMCON since we came on board.”
Recalling the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, which had adverse effect on the Nigerian economy, Kuru said that at the onset of global financial crisis that in 2008, there were foreign portfolio withdrawals of credit lines and investment from Nigeria.
“The stock market also collapsed leading to loss of about 80% of its value just as there was a major banking crisis due to poor risk management that led to increase in the non-performing loans of the banks,” he said.
Speaking on the role of AMCON and the sale of assets, Kuru explained that the Corporation is also mindful of the activities of illicit funds and the harm it could cause to the economy.
“Therefore, in our disposal of AMCON assets – and I say this with all sense of responsibility and sincerity; the sort of due diligence AMCON has put in place over the years to check the profile of the prospective buyer is cumbersome. Aside from the regular KYC forms that the interested buyer would fill, AMCON would amongst other things demand your BVN details, profile of the buyer, location, financial flow, kind of business, bank statement and sworn court affidavit among others. Even though AMCON wants to dispose the assets and recover money for the federal government, all these hurdles are designed to ensure that we do not receive directly or indirectly illicit funds,” he said.
Kuru therefore commended Realnews management for coming up with this timely and topical subject and expressed the hope that the discussants will “do justice to this all-important topic and at the end of the programme come up with suggestions that would further advance our nation”.
-November 09, 2023 @ 16:20 GMT |