Africa loses $50bn an­nu­ally to illegal out­flow – Mbeki

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

For­mer South African Pres­i­dent, Dr. Thabo Mbeki, has said that Africa loses, at least, $50 bil­lion an­nu­ally through trade mis­pric­ing. The loss, Mbeki posited, would have made an im­por­tant and pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the con­ti­nent’s de­vel­op­ment and in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ef­forts.

The South African leader, who spoke in La­gos at the 43rd An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing of the Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (MAN), de­plored the de­vel­op­ment and charged man­u­fac­tur­ers in the coun­try to re­dou­ble their ef­forts to stem the il­licit fi­nan­cial out­flows.

He said, “As we in­di­cated re­gard­ing the need for na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in de­vel­op­ing the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion Plan, so do we need sim­i­lar co­op­er­a­tion to de­feat the scourge of il­licit fi­nan­cial out­flows. I am, there­fore, sug­gest­ing that MAN and the rest of the cor­po­rate sec­tor take it as one of their tasks in the con­text of the in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of Nige­ria to join hands with the gov­ern­ment and civil so­ci­ety to fight il­licit fi­nan­cial out­flows.”

Pres­i­dent of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba Ja­cobs de­scribed the Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (EPA) be­tween the Euro­pean Union and West Africa as dis­ad­van­ta­geous to the Nige­rian econ­omy.

Dr Ja­cobs feared that if signed in its present form, the agree­ment “will not only re­tard and de­stroy the fledg­ing in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of Nige­ria, it will also or­ches­trate se­ri­ous so­cial chal­lenges as a re­sult of job losses, as it will worsen the un­em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion.”

Ja­cobs ex­plained that Dr Mbeki was cho­sen as the guest speaker for the event af­ter a re­view of his an­tecedents and achieve­ments as Pres­i­dent of South Africa.

He re­called that dur­ing Dr. Mbeki’s ten­ure as pres­i­dent, “the South African econ­omy grew at a yearly rate of 4.5 per cent and mas­sive em­ploy­ment was cre­ated in the mid­dle sec­tor of the econ­omy, lead­ing to the cre­ation of a large pool of mid­dle class, es­pe­cially with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Black Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme, which led to a high de­mand for trained pro­fes­sion­als.”

He added that South Africa also at­tracted enor­mous For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment, mak­ing it the fo­cal point of African growth.

“These are the things we ex­pect of the Nige­rian man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor now and in the near fu­ture,” the MAN chief said.

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