US$217.7 Billion Illegally Transferred Out of Nigeria
Africa: Cleaning Up
~ By William Gumede
What is the extent of corruption in Africa? The recent Global Corruption Barometer shows that 12 of the 13 countries with the worst record of bribery are in Africa. The African Union estimates that 25% of the GDP of African states, or some $148 billion, is lost to corruption every year on the continent.
- The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates corruption costs Africa up to 50% in lost tax revenues and over $30 billion in aid, annually. As a comparison, Africa receives around $22.5 billion in development aid from industrial countries (pre-2007/2008 global financial crisis figures), according to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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- In many African countries local and foreign private donors fund governing parties in return for favourable policies, subverting regulations and the drive toward efficient privatisation. This stymies development. Developed countries also contribute to the situation by harbouring the proceeds of corruption in Africa in secret bank accounts.
- Africa is losing $50 billion every year in illicit financial outflows because of fraudulent schemes to avoid or evade taxes by governments and companies, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). According to the report, the continent lost $850 billion between 1978 and 2008. Some $217.7 billion was illegally transferred out of Nigeria, $105.2 billion out of Egypt and $81.8 billion out of South Africa.
- Separate data provided by Global Financial Integrity has shown that South Africa loses annually about $12.2 billion in illicit outflows. That loss could easily plug South Africa's fiscal deficit. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who chairs UNECA said: "The information available to us has convinced our panel that large commercial corporations are by far the biggest culprits of illicit outflows, followed by organised crime".