President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday again stressed the need for collective action against transnational organised crimes by the global community.
The President, who made the call at the launch of the “Munich Security Conference Transnational Security Report” in Abuja, called for global mobilisation of funds to fight organised crimes, as no country could do it alone.
According to the president, the porous nature of borders of most countries has led to the increasing number of evil actors, especially perpetrators of organised crime who profit from the illicit flow of assets out of the African continent.
Buhari observed that Illicit flow of assets had further fueled terrorism and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“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 organised crime who profits from the illicit flow of assets out of the African continent.
“In recent years, the challenges posed by illicit outflow of our resources have increased, with attendant sophistication due to the fast pace of technological advancements.
“Illicit flow have further fueled terrorism and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
“To effectively combat illicit flows, it is necessary that we collectively bring adequate resources and reinforce our capabilities to address transnational organised crime, as no government can do it alone,’’ he said.
Buhari, who is also the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), noted that the lack of well secured borders had placed countries in West Africa on a very disadvantaged position.
He, therefore, solicited the support of the international community to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the sub-region.
According to him, our sub-region is not only a victim of illicit financial flow but also of human trafficking, arms and drugs trade with dire consequences on the well being of our people and on national security.
“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.
“In addition, relevant agencies have also been mandated to work towards strengthening regional and international partnership to address these threats.
“I am aware that one of the key facilitators of transnational organised crime including illicit flows is the porous nature of our borders. This is a major challenge to our region.
“In this context, we will continue to count on the support of our international partners for new technologies to effectively police our borders,” the President said.
According to the Nigerian leader, ECOWAS member nations are already doing their best to tackle the problem, I thank the organisers of the Munich security conference.
“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 president expressed the hope that deliberations at the launch of the report would produce “positive results which will guide us to strengthen our existing frameworks and strategies for durable solutions to our current cross-border security challenges’’.
Buhari further noted that the Munich Conference had overtime proven to be a valuable and effective platform for addressing contemporary security challenges, considering the number and profile of the participants at its fora as well as the relevance of its outcomes to the global community.
Presenting the Key Report Findings at the event, Deputy Head, Policy and Analysis of Munich Security Conference, Mr Julian Voje, lamented that illicit financial flows posed a double threat to global community.
According to him, an estimated 1.7 trillion dollars to 4.2 trillion dollars was laundered in 2018 alone, much of it across borders.
“This is money that could otherwise have gone to fund vital state services such as healthcare and law enforcement; instead it is being used for personal gain.
“As a result, state capacities and legitimacy are being undermined. This is especially harmful for states that are already fragile,’’ he said.
The Munich Security Conference, which was also attended by the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, came on the eve of the 55 Ordinary Session of the of ECOWAS, slated for Abuja, on June 29.(NAN)