By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA— President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Abuja, called for the removal of unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks that impede the repatriation of Africa’s stolen funds.
The President, who spoke at the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Association of African Central Banks, ACCB, charged financial institutions across the world to desist from aiding the flow of illicit cash.
He said: “Side by side with economic stimulus measures, we must intensify our surveillance and give guidance to the operations of our financial institutions to reverse the trend of illicit flows of funds out of Africa.
“We should all be serious in putting in place measures aimed at ensuring that the proceeds of these illicit flows are repatriated to their countries of origin with minimal bureaucratic hitches.”
Speaking on the theme, “Unwinding Unconventional Monetary Policies: Implications for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability in Africa,” the President challenged Africa Central Bank governors and experts to fashion out “home-grown solutions to the continent’s economic challenges rather than adopting foreign measures that wouldn’t suit Africa.
He said: “Faced with these challenges, African Central Banks have been at their best in keeping African economies afloat through proactive and effective combination of conventional and innovative monetary policies.
‘’I urge you to continue to look for original home-grown solutions, not to rely on ‘fit for all purposes’ prescriptions handed down from abroad. The world is a dynamic place and with innovation, we can survive.
“In Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria has for many years spearheaded economic stimulus measures through specific intervention programmes. I think these measures should be sustained through good and difficult times.”
President Buhari said he recognized the importance of synergy between monetary and fiscal authorities in the formulation and implementation of economic policies to bring about the desired economic growth, promising to promote it.
He said: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we fully understand that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to bring about desired economic growth. We must carefully balance monetary and fiscal policy measures.
“For us in Nigeria, while recognizing the challenges we are confronted with and the need to surmount them, we are determined to diversify the economy away from excessive reliance on oil and other primary products.
‘’Consequently, we are taking measures and implementing policies that would ensure we are self-sufficient, generate massive employment for millions of our youth, and explore our untapped human and natural resources.”