African leaders steal $50bn annually, says German parliament
Andres Lammei, a lawmaker and chairman, Working Group on Africa of the CDU/CSU in the Federal Parliament of the
Federal Republic of Germany, has said that the legislative arm in Nigeria and other African countries are not duly respected by the executive.
Lammei made this statement yesterday while receiving in audience some select state parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from Nigeria at the Bundestag, Parliamentary Building in Berlin, Germany. He noted his observation and concerns over the ‘$50 billion’ that often disappeared from the treasury of governments across Africa annually, saying that that would always impede development in the county.
The lawmaker, who revealed that he doesn’t envy the African legislature, ‘giving the state of affairs’, also noted that most African embassies in Germany are not doing enough to change the Germans’ perception of the continent; for this reason, he revealed that the team of lawmakers he is in charge of is on a study tour of German parliament, organised by the Konrad Adnauer Stiftung, a German NGO with Country Office in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is on our itinerary next year. We will be paying a visit to the parliament. Africa’s parliaments are not too good; they are not well equipped, their rights are not respected. In fact they are confronted with major bureaucratic bottlenecks by operators in the executive. Government should keep improving on financial resources for an effective parliament. No country in the world is interested in making parliaments
work. Honestly, I don’t envy African MPs giving the state of affairs in their countries. We need to raise awareness of opportunities in Africa rather than disasters. Unfortunately, African ambassadors here in Germany are not helping matters. Although, some of them are active and even visit us here in the parliament, quite a large chunk of them are not,” the lawmaker added.
The lawmaker, who said his group was made up of lawmakers with passion for African development, however, lamented that the rate of corruption remained a major challenge to effectively realising their goals for Africa.
“It gives me a grave concern, if the number is right as obtained in the press, that $50billion disappears in Nigeria and across Africa annually. The question is, how much does Africa even get as development aid? Many African leaders and politicians invest in other countries. A friend of mine did an album of houses owned by an African in a country. This must stop if the right investments are to come. This is corruption. When I talk to German businessmen about investing in Africa, they often show me the Corruption Index of these countries.
“In Germany, corruption is illegal, as 95% of our businesses are made up mainly of small and medium scale. Families will go and invest only where there is legal security where
business is safe,” the lawmaker added.
In closing remarks, KAS Director in Nigeria, Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, said the tour was part of efforts being made by the Foundation to help deepen democracy in Nigeria.
According to her, the choice of participants in the programme was informed by the fact that legislature is the centre piece of democratic nation.