Africa loses $50bn annually to illegal outflow – Mbeki
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.