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Nigeria loses $7bn annually to crude oil theft, Buhari says

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President Muhammadu Buhari has told the international community that Nigeria loses about $7 billion dollars to crude oil theft every year.

He therefore called for help from the international community to set mechanisms that will assist countries like Nigeria to combat such illegal activities.

Speaking at the opening of the Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, Buhari called for urgent creation of anti-corruption infrastructure and a strategic action plan to facilitate the speedy recovery and repatriation of stolen funds hidden in secret bank accounts abroad.

A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, quoted Buhari as saying, “When it comes to tackling corruption, the international community has unfortunately looked away for too long. We need to step up and tackle this evil together. That is why we have gathered here today.

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“Corruption creates a system where resources are shared by a small elite while the majority wallows in poverty. Corruption also undermines the ability of countries to finance development.

“I recall in this regard, the landmark Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the 3rd International Conference on Finance for Development held in January this year.

“A prominent feature of that global framework is the recognition that good governance and measures to combat corruption and curb illicit financial flows will be integral to the effort to attain sustainable development globally by the year 2050.

“It is for this reason that my Government is determined to address illicit financial outflows which have served as a major impediment to progress in our country.

“I wish to reiterate our demand that the global community must come up with mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for stolen funds and facilitate the return of stolen assets to their countries of origin,” President Buhari said.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Prime Minister Cameron applauded President Buhari’s vigorous efforts to curb corruption in Nigeria.

Other speakers at the opening session included the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim and the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry.

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