PRESS STATEMENT BY ANEEJ & CSOs ON PANAMA PAPERS SCANDAL
2th April, 2016,
Gentlemen of the Press:
Following the global outrage that has trailed the revelations in the Panama Papers of financial corruption around the globe, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Centre for Development and Development (CDD) and broad coalition of Civil Society stakeholders including the Nigerian Network on Stolen Assets, NNSA, Tax Justice and Governance Network, Say No Campaign have observed the following:
(i) The Panama Papers showed how politically exposed persons and business men and women, for more than 40 years have been frittering the nation’s wealth to offshore tax havens at the detriment of Nigeria.
(ii) While several governments whose nationals have been fingered in the Panama Papers have either made statements for or against an investigation into these questionable tax havens, we find it curious that the Nigerian government is yet to align itself with the popular sentiments trending on the international space.
(iii) The Panama revelations have come at a time in Nigeria when very lean financial emoluments accruing from crude oil sales have nearly crippled our economy, subjected the average Nigerian to passing nights at fuel stations, free fall of the Naira against other international currencies and perennial power outages.
Consequently, we have resolved as follows:
(i) We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately order the investigation of all Nigerians implicated in the report. Since governments all over the world including the US, UK and India, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine have all responded by analyzing the implications of the Panama Papers, it would not be out of place to ask President Buhari to order the EFCC to investigate Nigerians whose names have featured in the Panama Paper Leak.
(ii) We call on the Nigerian government to review our anti-money laundering laws according to global best practices, so as to curtail the ability of Politically Exposed Persons to use their positions to siphon public funds to tax havens.
(iii) Government should develop and make public its asset recovery blueprint to send the right signal to the comity of nations that Nigeria is serious this time around with the fight against corruption.
(i) Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
(ii) Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
(iii) Tax Justice and Governance Network (TJ&GN)
(iv) Say No Campaign (SNC)
(v) Social-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP)
(vi) Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CISNAC)
(vii) African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD)
(ix) Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN)
(x) Nigerian Network on Stolen Assets (NNSA)