It's been going on for decades and even though it is not surprising, however, the magnitude of the stolen funds in one country is mouth-watering to say the least. The United Kingdom (UK) alone receives about £90 billion shady funds from Nigeria, and countries in the third world every year, according to report by Christian Erikson and Lionel Faull, anti-corruption advocates.
Researchers disclosed this in a joint paper tagged, ‘Obtaining Property Information Overseas’ presented at the anti-corruption training organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (Heda Resource Centre) in collaboration with The Corner House; MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
They said most of the stolen funds are from third world countries.
According to them, 87,000 illicit assets in the UK are owned by anonymous companies in tax havens, while the values of secretly owned properties in the UK are between 56 to 100 billion pounds, with 40 percent of these properties in the city of London.
“Getting your money back is easier said than done. It takes a long time. If you do not support corruption, there is no need doing banking with Nigeria,” Faull was quoted to have said.
“The fight against corruption will not succeed without a very active citizenry. It requires international solidarity, teaming up with civil society in order to work with international organizations and make authorities accountable.”
Nick Hildyard, an anti-corruption investigator, said though the UK has one of the most effective anti-corruption laws, in reality, the country does not appear to be fully prepared to stall the wave of corruption, with its financial institutions providing the logistics for corrupt officials from Nigeria especially and other African countries.
“The UK is a legally corrupt country”, Hildyard said, adding that “if Western countries genuinely wish to fight corruption, they should stop the warehouse of stolen funds from Nigeria”.
Speaking at the event, Maryam Uwais, special adviser to Nigeria's president on social investment, said corruption cannot be eradicated overnight, stating that the present government led by Muhammadu Buhari has been doing all in its powers to curb the ugly trend.
This assertion about Western countries' role in abating corruption justifies the belief that there are givers and takers. The greed and selfishness of African politicians have hence become the gain of the West. A sad tale of Africa's misfortunes.
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