EFCC recovers N6bn, $161m, others loots in 6 months, says Bawa

Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of Nigeria foremost anti-graft agency the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that sum of over N6 billion, more than $161 million United States dollars and over £13,000 British pound  were  recovered from looters  in last six months.

Also recovered by the agency were €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430 and 30 Real Estates. 

EFCC chairman, Mr Bawa, who assumed the leadership of the commission on March 5, 2021  made this disclosure at the weekend in London in a paper entitled, “Combating of Crime, Corruption and implication for Development and Security”. 

He presented the paper through his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana during  the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge,, United Kingdom.

Bawa said that the commission has ” arrested over 1500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted.” 

The chairman said the agency has been up and doing in tackling the malaise of corruption with tremendous successes adding that “records show that as at August 2021, the EFCC has well over 3408 convictions”

He further  disclosed  that over N 6 Trillion has been expended so far on the war against terrorism in Nigeria since 2008  while about N5.4 Trillion was lost to tax evasion by multi-nationals corporations operating in the country from 2011 – 2021. 

This is aside the theft of resources in the nation’s oil and gas sector , he said.

Bawa called on World leaders to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.

According to the EFCC boss, economic and financial crimes including corruption are manifesting in various forms in different nations where they are stifling global development and emboldening security challenges. 

Citing a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, he noted that, “Resources that could support a country’s development are lost through criminal acts like corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and others.

“The “spoiler” effects on countries’ development processes are diverse, and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education”.

The EFCC chair said the absence of substantial improvement in the living condition of the people in Africa and the rest of the developing countries, in spite of their natural resources endowment, can be blamed on pervasive economic crimes taking place in these countries.

“The incidence of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention but a few does not allow the government to receive the full accruals  from the continent’s vast resources that are needed for development.

The revenue generated are embezzled by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development”, he said.