Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, attributed the rising security challenges in Africa to those who profit from illegal financial activities.
Consequently, the president charged the intelligence community and security agencies to tighten the noose against illicit flows,
In a keynote address at the opening session of the 16th Conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa, CISSA, in Abuja, Buhari said development and stability on the African continent had been undermined by illicit outflows estimated at about $60 billion annually.
He said: "Frankly, we may never know the true extent of the damage. Estimates, however, suggest that African countries lose over $60 billion annually due to illicit financial outflows, a staggering amount for a continent in dire need of development finance.
"Corroborating this figure, a United Nations report on 'Illicit Financial Flows and the Problem of Net Resource Transfers from Africa: 1980-2009,' observed that during the period 1980 to 2009, between $1.2 trillion and $1.4 trillion was taken out of Africa. This figure is half of the current Gross Domestic Products of all the countries of Africa."
He said theme of the conference, "Illicit Financial Outflows from Africa and its impact on National Security and Development," was timely, urging stakeholders from the 52-member intelligence community to create a template of risk factors and actionable strategies and give priority to examining the links between crime and instability on the continent.
President Buhari also challenged the conference to put measures in place to ensure terrorists and criminals were denied access to financial systems.