Coronavirus funding threatens Nigeria’s efforts to tackle IFFs

Funding to tackle illicit financial flows (IFFs) out of Nigeria is under threat as a result of cuts made in the country’s 2021 budget.

Despite announcing a record naira 13.5 billion naira (N13.5 billion – US$35.5 billion) budget to tackle the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria’s budget cuts funding for the country’s flagship Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Exposed to IFFs

Nigeria is one of Africa’s worst affected countries by IFFs. A report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Trust Africa indicated that Nigeria loses US$15-18 billion each year to IFFs, with 92 per cent of these flowing out of the oil and gas sector.

While there is stringent legislation in place governing foreign financial flows, a lack of capacity or capabilities on the ground means the country has not been able to substantially curb illegal cross-border flows. 

Budget cuts

The EFCC, Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency with a clear yet flexible mandate to fight IFFs and financial crimes, in 2021 will have to cope with a cut from the N32.7 billion ($86.3million) allocated to it in 2020.

The 2021 national budget allocates the agency N29.6 billion ($78.5million) for the year, a cut of N3.1billion ($7.8million) from its 2020 allocation.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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