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Here are 5 important things President Buhari said at Paris Peace Forum

Here are the 5 important points President Buhari raised in Paris as he attends the Peace Forum.

President Muhammadu Buhari 

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Buhari delivered a speech on Illicit Financial Flows (Iffs) and Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance at the Paris Peace Forum.

Here are highlights of the president's speech:

1. Buhari asks global leaders to make sure looted Nigerian monies aren’t kept in their banks

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Swiss banks, UK banks, tax havens of Panama and the Cayman Islands have often been named as destinations for some of Nigeria’s looted funds.

Buhari’s speech arrived with a call to action from global leaders. “We must crack down on safe havens for corrupt assets.

“I also advocate sanctions by professional bodies against transactional middlemen (lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, etc.) who facilitate Illicit Financial Flows”, he said.

2. Jail term is not enough punishment for corrupt persons, Buhari says

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According to Buhari, slapping corrupt persons with prison sentences is not enough to deter people from stealing. What is important, he says, is making sure looted funds and their proceeds stashed abroad, are repatriated.

“Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.

“A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin”.

3. Foreign law firms and banks have been enabling corruption

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According to Buhari, “We must not lose sight of the role played by secret companies, banks and law firms, all too often based in developed economies and their related offshore centres.

“Recent studies reveal that flaws in the global financial system enable corrupt individuals to hide details of their financial dealings under the noses of governments and law enforcement agencies”.

4. Nigeria will cooperate with countries who are serious about fighting corruption

Buhari was elected president on the back of a promise to crack down on endemic corruption in Africa’s most populous country.

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He told world leaders at the peace forum that  “the government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption.’’

5. Whistle blower policy is working, Buhari says

President Buhari told world leaders that the whistle-blower policy his administration set up, is working just fine.

Recall that there is a percentage for persons whose disclosure of loot leads to recovery.

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Buhari announced that the whistle-blower policy has facilitated recovery of billions of Naira from corrupt persons. This recovered money, he says, has been redirected to the development of critical infrastructure and programs that will benefit all Nigerians.

The forum, a first of its kind, began on November 11 and will end on November 13.

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