Economic benefits of COVID-19 corruption

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….COVID-19 will stop diversion of Nigeria’s funds abroad – AFAR President

By Ibiyemi Mathew

Global president Association of Forensic Accounting Reserchers(AFAR), Prof. Godwin Oyedokun has identified inability of fraudsters and politicians from moving Nigeria’s fund abroad to foreign banks and acquisition of properties as a major economic benefit for the country.

This is coming amidst several reports by economic analysts that the global economy will experience a global recession worse than that of 2009 because of the current pandemic ravaging the global economy.

Speaking in reaction to an enquiry by Nigerian NewsDirect on challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, Oyedokun said the pandemic also posses economic benefits for the country. For instance, he said COVID-19 has hindered some politicians and other government workers from moving national funds out of the country for their personal interest for this period.”

“Fraudsters will also thrive, but it is now easy to track them than before. If there is going to be any benefit brought about by the COVID-19, it would be the fact that perpetrators are not opportune to syphon money outside the country, hence such stolen funds remain within the economy,” he assured.

Oyedokun added that COVID-19 has also deprived those in government travelling abroad with national fund for personal health treatment routine thereby reserving the funds in the economy and giving way to confirm our national health sector capability and exposed the capability of government in handling health matters..

Oyedokun said there are so many opportunities Nigeria can take advantage of to build a strong economy.

He stated that,”no doubt there will be some dip in the productive capacity of the world economy, but not to the point of recession.”

Highlighting the difference between reduction of growth rate and recession,he said “reduction of growth rate is not the same as recession.”

“Recession is “going backward” or negative growth. One year of reduction may not necessarily mean recession. Sustain consecutive loss of growth is recession. There will be negative effect on global economic growth yes, but not to the point of devastating recession.”

“The pandemic is a call to action for world leaders, most especially African nations and it’s an eye opener for developing countries like Nigeria to embrace economy diversification as crude oil production which the country depends on is no longer valuable in the world market.”

“We do not need a soothsayer to tell us that it would take time before we experience surge in demand. Hence, before such surge, the country needs to ensure diversification into sectors like Agriculture which would greatly impact the economy via local production of farm produce and also mitigate hunger that most citizens are going through in these unprecedented times.”

“In all, because this involves complexities, certain individual will also benefit though it may not be to the advantage of the Government,” he said.

AFAR has since the inception of this pandemic been sensitizing members and the nation as a whole via the website and social media on what COVID-19 is, how to stay safe by following the WHO measures to be taken in order to not to be a victim of the COVID-19 because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.

Dr. Gbenga Alonge who is the Vice President, Financial Services of AFAR reiterated the fact that the association has been able to train people of like minds for free during this lockdown period in the path of forensic accounting research and practice because the skill has become inevitable during and after this period.