The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has warned state governments to desist from signing badly negotiated agreements with offshore arbitration clauses.
He noted that certain arbitration clauses attached to some agreements signed by states and federal officials had exposed the country to illicit financial flows and exploitation by foreign entities.
Owasanoye stated this during a webinar on capacity building on ‘Understanding Illicit Financial Flows for the Development of Innovative Ideas in Curbing the Menace,’ in Abuja on Tuesday.
The virtual meeting was attended by the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Economic Matters, Dr Yemi Dipeolu, attorneys-general and chairmen, boards of internal revenue from the 36 states.
The ICPC boss said one of the ways to solve illicit financial flows was through capacity building.
He said, “This challenge begins with agreements, very badly negotiated agreements. Agreements that were signed by states, agreements that were signed at the federal level and people cede away the fortunes of the state or the country without knowing it.
“As state governments bring people to their states on investment roadshows, going out to market their states, know that you are also marketing IFFs except you know what sort of agreements you want to be signing.”
Owasanoye stressed that the arbitration clauses attached to agreements with foreign investors were important, adding that it was not wise to agree to the resolution of disputes in foreign courts.