Former Chairman, Board of Trustees of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, Dr. Musa Babayo, has asked the federal government under Muhammadu Buhari to look into the illicit activities of multinational corporations with a view to checkmating them.
Babayo, who was speaking at the unveiling of his book titled: “Economic Diplomacy and Nigeria’s Foreign Policy,” at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday, argued that Nigeria has lost over 157million US dollars between 2003 and 2012 to the illicit transactions by multinational corporations.
He said “while Nigeria received 40.7billion US dollars in Foreign Direct Investment, FDI over the same period for each dollar invested in Nigeria during the period, 1.27 dollars was transferred abroad in the form of profits, for an extraction rate of 127 present.”
“Despite the central, if not singular focus on economic diplomacy from the 1980s to date, the question is: what is the nation’s score card after almost three decades of the strategic shift to economic rather than political pursuits in the nation’s diplomatic relations with other nations?
“While there is no gainsaying that economic diplomacy will continue to feature prominently as part and parcel of the mix of foreign policy tools of the country in her quest for socio-economic development and goal to be among developed economies globally, a number of realities will have to be taken on board by our foreign policy formulators in the current milieu.
He explained that, Global Financial Integrity, GFI, Nigeria has lost over 157billion US dollars between 2003 and 2012 to illicit financial flow, adding that, according to the Thabo Mbeki High Level Panel (HLP) report, of the African countries where cumulative IFFs were the highest over the 200-2010 period, 92.9 percent of IFFs outflows were said to be from the oil sector in Nigeria.
“I strongly urge President Buhari to turn his attention to the activities of multinational corporations in Nigeria with a view to repatriating the funds due to Nigeria and putting a stop to further bleeding of the nation’s economy.
“The time to address the challenge of illicit financial flow is now! This should be the new the focus of the new economic diplomacy of the new administration and I’m happy the President’s recent trip to USA aims to justify this,” Babayo said.
The event was chaired by former Minister of External Affairs and Chairman of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.
Also present to felicitate with Dr Musa Babayo at the event were former Head of Service, Alhaji Ahmed Yayale, former Ambassador to Netherlands, Amb. Jinade, Prof Chibuzor Nwoke (Reviewer of the book), human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, members of Civil Society Organisations and other dignitaries.

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