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Opinion: When We Kill Corruption, A Prosperous Nigeria Is Possible By Gbenga Falana

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Neither President Buhari, Atiku, Obi or Sowore etc has what it takes to bring Nigeria out of the grave and take her to her desired promise land. The idea of one presidential candidate prostituting around Churches and trying to take advantage of the current situation thinking all Nigerians are fools is nothing but an attempt to sell nothing for something. One thing I am very sure of is that the inevitable war brewing in Nigeria is most likely going to be a Religious war. (but God forbid). The so called Men of God are not helping our situation at all. They are insensitive to know that in a country with 50% Muslims and 50% Christians, the current rhetoric is not just very dangerous but risky. Wisdom is profitable unto all things, The scripture commanded those who lacked it to seek for it. Wisdom and our journey of life as a Christian should inform us that when the Men of God are without Holy Spirit, they are just ordinary Men lacking in wisdom. We are all entitled to be filled with Holy Spirit, hence we should be able to know when they have deviated from preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ To engaging in personal and self glorifying worldly things. Most of them have turned the supposed to be Holy Pulpit to a Campaign Pulpit. I am a Christian, Holy Spirit filled and tongue talker (reference to Papa Kenneth E. Hagin) and a winner by church identification But I have the mind of my own. We need a united restructured Nige, Not a Christian or Muslim Nigeria.

USA with 50 states and over 300millions in population is still looking to add Puerto Rico to her states. And will not allow independent California or Texas breakaway. All we need in Nigeria is for every Nigerian home and in diaspora to purge himself or herself of corruption, especially those in Diaspora Must as a matter of urgency stop helping our corrupt politicians and families to laundered stolen money across. As long as we continue to assist those politically exposed politicians to get the stolen common wealth out of Nigeria then we are all guilty of the current economic failures and woes in Nigeria. As a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and for those of us who might be wondering and asking questions like in what way am I aiding corruption in Nigeria? I don’t live in Nigeria and have no direct access to any funds. I will like take you on a journey: Simply put, money laundering is the process of making dirty money clean.

The United Nations 2000 Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, also known as the Pelermo Convention, defines money laundering as:

1: the conversion or transfer of property, knowing it is derived from a criminal offense, for the purpose of concealing or disguising its illicit or of assisting any person who is involved in the commission of the crime to evade the legal consequences of his or her actions;

2: the concealment or disguise of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement, rights with respect to or ownership of property knowing that it is derived from a criminal offense; and

3: the acquisition, possession or use of property,knowing at the time of its receipt that it was derived from a criminal offense or from participation in a crime. An important prerequisite in the definition of money laundering is “KNOWLEDGE .“

I, surely will like to let Nigerians know that the uncontrollable free falls of Naira is one of Micro and Macro economic disaster and effects of Money Laundering.

Money laundering is a result of any crime that generates profits for the criminals involved. It knows no boundaries, and jurisdictions where there are weak, ineffective or inadequate anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing (CFT) legislation and regulations ARE MOST VULNERABLE. Such as we have in Nigeria.

Money laundering has significant economic and social consequences, especially for developing countries and emerging markets. The easy passage of funds from one institution, or relatively facile systems that allow money to be placed without raising any questions, is fertile territory for money launderers. The upholding of legal, professional and ethical standards is critical to the integrity of financial markets. When Nigeria CBN cannot account for amount of money in circulation and has no control of inflows of foreign currencies into the country is a template for economic failure.

The potential macroeconomic consequences of unchecked money laundering are as follows:

1: INCREASED EXPOSURE TO ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION AS WE ARE CURRENTLY WITNESSING IN NIGERIA: Successful money laundering enhances the profitable aspects of criminal activity. When a country is seen as a haven for money laundering, it will attract people who commit crime. Typically, havens for money laundering and terrorist financing have

  • limited numbers of predicate crimes for money laundering such as in Nigeria (i:e , criminal offenses that may permit a jurisdiction to bring a money laundering charge),
  • limited types of instructions and persons covered by money laundering laws and regulations.
  • little to no enforcement of the laws and weak penalties or provisions that make it difficult to confiscate or freeze assets related to money laundering:and
  • limited regulatory capacity to effectively monitor and supervise compliance to money laundering and terrorist financing laws and regulations.

We must note that when money laundering is prevalent, there is more likely to be corruption. Typically, the penetration of organized crime groups in a jurisdiction is directly linked to public and private sector corruption. Criminals will try to bribe government officials,lawyers and employees of financial or non financial institutions so that they can continue to run their criminal activities/businesses.

In countries with weaker laws and enforcement, it is corruption that triggers money laundering. It also leads to increase in the use of bribery in financial institutions,amongst lawyers and accountants, in the legislature, in enforcement agencies, with police and supervisory authorities, and even with courts and prosecutors. All these are embedded in the DNA of Nigerians.

2: UNDERMINING THE LEGITIMATE PRIVATE SECTOR; One of the most serious microeconomic effects of money laundering is felt in the private sector. It provides a vehicle for evading taxes, thus depriving the country of revenue.

3: WEAKENING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

4: DAMPENING EFFECTS ON FOREIGN INVESTMENTS.

5: LOSS OF CONTROL OF, OR MISTAKES IN, DECISIONS REGARDING ECONOMIC POLICY: This is the main reason why non of our economic policies seems to be working.

6: ECONOMIC DISTORTION AND INSTABILITY: Money launderers are not primarily interested in profit generation from their investments but rather in protecting their proceeds and hiding the illegal origin of the funds.

7: LOSS OF TAX REVENUE: Of the underlying forms of illegal activity, tax evasion is , perhaps, the one with the most obvious macroeconomic impact

8: RISKS TO PRIVATIZATION EFFORTS

9: REPUTATION RISK FOR THE COUNTRY AND

10: RISK OF INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS.

All Nigerians, both at home and for those in diaspora need to change and fight corruption heads on if we want to see our desired Nigeria. Together we can build a united and restructured Nigeria. I am confident in what I know. If the corrupt Nigerians have no access in laundering their illegitimate wealth overseas, the rate of stealing will decline and we might likely have a more stable and predictable economic policy.

Proudly Nigerian… Dr Gbenga Falana, PT. DPT. CAMS

Dr Gbenga Falana, a Native of Ijare in Ondo state, Nigeria, is a Physical Therapist resident in New York, USA. Email: victory4john@aol.com

PS: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily that of the Publishers of Precision Online Newspaper.

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