Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday disclosed that Africa loses over $50 billion to smuggling of mineral resources.
Obasanjo however called for concerted efforts by African leaders and followers to stop the ugly trend, noting that the act was affecting the continent’s economy.
He spoke at the 1st Annual Nigeria’s Anti-Fraud Conference with the theme: “War Against Corruption in Nigeria: Fraud Fighters’ Dilemma” held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The 4-day conference was organised by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Texas, USA, Lagos Chapter.
Obasanjo expressed concern that when the Federal Government gives license to foreign companies, there is lack of monitoring “on what those companies take, how they take it and where they take it to.”
He said “We must all do what we have to do to reduce the $50billion which is being illicitly taken out of Africa annually. $50biilion is being illicitly taken out of Africa every year. Most of it are in form of finished minerals.
“I was in Abakaliki two days ago and I saw an Indian company involved in transporting lead and tin. Once they have taken their licenses from the Federal Government, nobody really pays attention to what they take, how they take it and where they take it to.”
He urged the association to collaborate with other international organisations like Transparency International (TI) to ensure corruption is fought to a standstill.
President and Chief Executive, ACFE Lagos, Dr Godwin Oyedokun explained the conference was put together with a view to learning new fraud fighting techniques.
Oyedokun said “Fighting fraud is akin to being shot at from all angles. It is a fight that requires us to put up all in our arsenal to fight it. Fighting fraud is not a job for certain individuals alone, it is a fight for all.
“One of the reasons this conference has been put together is to enable us to learn new fraud fighting techniques. This is because fraud changes in scope and dimension in the same way society changes. Strategies that could curb a particular trend in the past may not be effective today. We must be attuned to new trends in fraud and how it can be checked.
“Otherwise, organisations and the society in general will be worse off at the end of the day. Resource would be frittered away, confidence will be eroded in institutions and there could be break down of law and order.”