President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday joined his Zambian and Ethiopian counterparts in calling for unity among African countries to demand unconditional repatriation of assets stolen from the continent. The call came at a high-level event on Illicit Financial Flows held on the sidelines of the ongoing 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York.
According to some estimates, illicit financial flows from Africa is as much as 50 billion dollars annually. In his address, President Buhari stated that Nigeria alone lost about 157.5 billion dollars to IFFs between 2003 and 2012. He said although his administration has recovered “millions of dollars stolen from the country” in the last five years, a lot more is still stuck in foreign bank accounts.
According to him, a combination of “international laws, different jurisdictions and justice systems”, make it deliberately difficult for repatriation. President Buhari noted that any lasting solution to the challenges would require international cooperation and coordination.
President of the UN General Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, pledged the support of the organ to member states and organisations seeking the return of stolen money hidden abroad.