The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to develop effective mechanism towards halting massive capital flight in Nigeria.
This followed the adoption of motion by Rep. Afolabi Olalekan (APC-Osun) at plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.
Moving the motion, Olalekan said that capital flight has been one of the unresolved and persistent macroeconomic problems plaguing the nation for over four decades.
“Ironically, Nigeria is ranked among the highest producers of crude oil in the world and earns a huge amount of foreign exchange from its exports but still falls short of capital to develop, maintain and upgrade its infrastructure,” he said.
He said that the country’s underdevelopment was due to high capital flight compared to accumulated domestic investments.
“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that about 88.6billion dollars per year leaves the continent through money laundry, tax evasion, diverted revenues, offshore investments and other forms of capital flights, with Nigeria accounting for an estimated 46 per cent of the total capital flight or 40.7billion dollars per year.
“Aware of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Bulletin in 2015 which shows that the net flow of capital flight from Nigeria from 1986 to 2015 was quite worrisome, with Nigeria losing a colossal sum of over 8.8 trillion dollars.
“The alarming rate of foreign medical services being sought by Nigerians, both private individuals and government officials, which amounts to more than 6.5 billion dollars based on the statistics released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015, while expenses on foreign education amount to more than 3billion dollars based on estimates released by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) in its 2014 annual report,’’ he said.
Olalekan said that there have been pleas by successive governments to foreign banks and other international financial institutions to release and repatriate stolen and diverted funds stockpiled abroad by corrupt leaders.
“Capital flight exerts detrimental effects on both short and long term growth of the economy by reducing domestically available investible capital as it represents a foregone investment in manufacturing plants, infrastructure, social welfare, reduction of a country’s tax base and a contribution to the high debt profile, among others,’’ he said.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.