There is a paper entitled “The Devastating impact of Money Laundering and other Economic and Financial Crimes on the Economy of Developing Countries: Nigeria as a Case Study” by Yusuf and Ibrahim from the International Islamic University Malaysia. The paper makes very interesting reading. You are encouraged to read, if you have a moment to spare. You can google it up in PDF.
The paper argues that Economic and financial crimes represent a dangerous form of criminal behaviour that affects not only individual members of a society but also having deleterious effects on the economic, health and material welfare of the community as a whole. Economic and financial crimes are non-violent criminal practices which are tantamount to sabotage of the national economy. This is because of the impact of these offences on the social well being and economic foundation of any nation.
This paper examines the general consequences of economic and financial crimes especially money laundering on the economy of the developing countries using Nigeria as a case study. The study finds that the common characteristic of the effects of economic and financial crimes in the developing countries is its tendency to undermine a nation economy which in turn often results in decelerated improvement in the quality of life of citizens and paving way for economic cum political stagnation. This finding represents a major problem Nigeria like many other developing countries is presently grappling with as a result of the prevalence of economic and financial crimes. The paper concludes by recommending a strong legal regime coupled with political will to combat the menace and minimise its devastating consequences.
In Section 3.1 pertaining to CONSEQUENCES OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES IN NIGERIA, some very alarming figures are mentioned. The gloomy picture reminds us of many other African Countries like Congo, Angola, Zambia, Sudan and Zimbabwe with God Given Natural Resources. The paper states, “In spite of Nigeria’s enormous oil and gas deposit and abundant human resources, the nation is still a poor country with 80-90 million Nigerians out of the 140 million population living in abject poverty. For the past four decades, over $300 Billion was earned from oil exports but paradoxically Nigeria’s current per capital income is about 20% less than the 1975 level while the nation suffers under an excruciating external debt burden of about $33 Billion, equivalent of 60% of the nation’s GDP”.
The pathetic consequences of economic and financial crimes in Nigeria is well captured by Nuhu Ribadu, the former Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nigeria, when he disclosed thus; ” Without seeking to befog you with statistics, let me share a few example of what corruption has cost us as a people and as a nation. My pet example is the £ 20 Billion Pounds (about $500 Billion) of development assistance that has been stolen from this country since independence to date by past leaders of our country …the money could create the beauty and glory of Western Europe six times all over Nigeria. Nigerians line at the gate of Western Embassies daily in search of visas to flee the country, but the best way to appreciate this figure is to recall that it represents six times the value in money that went into rebuilding Europe via the famous Marshal at the end of the 2nd World War.
We all need to seriously introspect, reflect on the Africa’s current and future states. Bribery, corruption, money laundering and plunder of the African Mineral and Natural Resources by those entrusted with Political power need close monitoring and demand transparency and accountability from the Leaders. Stay well and be blessed. – Kemman Consultancy