…Okays Munich approach to tackling illicit flows
Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for collective and effective effort by ECOWAS member states to combat transnational organised crimes and illicit flows.
President Buhari stressed that it was necessary that the member states in the region collectively bring adequate resources and reinforce the security challenges confronting the region, noting that “no government can do it alone.”
The President said this on Friday during the Munich Security Conference held in Abuja, on the eve of the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
Buhari said that he was aware that one of the key facilitators of transnational organised crime including illicit flows is the porous nature of our borders.
This, according to him, is a major challenge to the region.
He said: “We will continue to count on the support of our international partners for new technologies to effectively police our borders.
“Here in the West African sub-region we have taken important steps to address some of our security concerns through improved political governance as contained in the relevant regional mechanisms of ECOWAS, which I currently have the privilege of chairing.
I therefore, welcome the Munich Security Conference for launching its Transnational Security Report in Abuja today.
“I am pleased that the launching of this report on the eve of the ECOWAS Summit, offers a unique opportunity to bring together decision-makers and experts to discuss new cooperation approaches to counter the challenges of illicit flows and other transnational crimes.”
The Nigerian leader further expressed confidence that the deliberations of the report would produce positive results which will guide the leaders to strengthen their existing frameworks and strategies for durable solutions to their current cross-border security challenges.
President Buhari therefore, commended the Munich Conference which he noted, has overtime, proven to be “a valuable and effective platform for addressing contemporary security challenges.”
“With the advent of globalisation and new technologies bringing nations and peoples closer, and creating new opportunities of interaction and trade, comes significant issues of security.
“We can see through the increasing number of evil actors, especially perpetrators of organized crime who profit from the illicit flows of assets out of the African continent.
“In recent years, the challenges posed by illicit outflows of our resources have increased, with attendant sophistication due to the fast pace of technological advancement. Illicit flows have further fuelled terrorism and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“Our sub-region is not only a victim of Illicit financial flows but also of human trafficking, arms and drugs trade with dire consequences on the wellbeing of our people and on national security,” the President added.
According to him, it is common knowledge that illicit flows compound the problems of corruption and impede efforts towards sustainable economic growth.
“This is why, I will continue to take decisive action to fight corruption and confront insecurity especially in the border areas,” Buhari reiterated.
He maintained that relevant agencies had also been mandated to work towards strengthening regional and international partnership to address these threats.