Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said $50bn worth of water resources and fisheries are being illegally taken away through waterways across Africa annually.
He said this in Abeokuta while speaking at the cocktail heralding the First Annual Nigeria Anti-Fraud Conference organised by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Lagos, Nigeria Chapter.
He said the increasing smuggling of fish and other water resources out of the continent accounted for huge economic loss.
The former president, who decried the issue that he said had become regular practice on African waterways, called on other African leaders, past and present, to support the fight to curb what he called “economic sabotage.”
Obasanjo explained that African countries would continue to experience stunted growth if leaders and followers refused to halt the smuggling of water resources and fisheries to foreign lands.
The former President, who was named the Grand Patron of ACFE, Nigeria chapter, based on his fight against fraud and corruption in Nigeria, tasked the financial professionals and all members of the association to help curb fraud and corruption in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
He said, “$50bn annually worth of fish and other water resources are illicitly taken away from Africa.
“This is a major concern to African leaders, past and present. We are now trying and putting up efforts to ensure that we prevent it.
“Organisation like yours can also help us and Africa to fight corruption and fraud in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
Earlier, President and Chief Executive Officer, ACFE, Godwin Oyedokun, commended the former president for accepting to grace the event, adding that it showed that he loved the country.
He said, “First, ACFE, Lagos Nigeria Chapter recognises your role in sanitising the Nigerian system before, during and even after you have left government.
“Second, we want to honour you as our Grand Patron, the one we could always run to for advice, guidance and mentorship.”