The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, says it has been estimated that Nigeria loses an average of $1-18 billion annually to illicit financial flows.
He said this could largely be prevented with negotiation, drafting, transparency and patriotic zeal adding that the revised guidelines would deter corruption in the negotiation and execution of government contracts.
He spoke in Abuja Tuesday at the headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) at the unveiling of the revised guidelines on negotiation and drafting of contracts and agreements by the federal government and its agencies.
The guidelines were unveiled during a sensitisation workshop for officials of ministries, departments and agencies of government.
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Fagbemi said his ministry was committed to supporting initiatives undertaken by MDAs aimed at engendering transparency and efficiency, and preventing corruption.
He said his office would look closely and review arrangements tainted with corruption.
ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, who unveiled the revised guidelines, said they were aimed at curbing corruption and illicit financial flows to ensure sustainable development.
“Nigeria, like many African countries, loses huge amount of resources to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) that originate from three sources, namely: commercial IFFs (tax evasion, trade-mis-invoicing, and abusive transfer pricing), criminal activities and corruption (bribery and theft by corrupt public officials).
“To make matters worse, poorly negotiated agreements are often litigated either in regular courts but mostly by arbitration with negative outcomes against the country.
“While the humongous compensations and awards in scarce foreign currency tend to catch the attention of the public, invisible costs like the cost of litigation are hardly mentioned, but they also contribute to the economic agony that result from poorly negotiated agreements.”