OPENING REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, DURING THE MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE ABUJA AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON, HOTEL ABUJA
I warmly welcome you all to Abuja and to this important event organised by the Munich Security Conference on the eve of the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.
2. I commend the Munich Conference which has overtime , proven to be a valuable and effective platform for addressing contemporary security challenges considering the number and profile of the participants at its fora as well as the relevance of its outcomes to the global community.
3. With the advent of globalization and new technologies bringing nations and peoples closer, and creating new opportunities of interaction and trade, comes significant issues of security. We can see through the increasing number of evil actors, especially perpetrators of organized crime who profit from the illicit flows of assets out of the African continent.
4. In recent years, the challenges posed by illicit outflows of our resources have increased, with attendant sophistication due to the fast pace of technological advancement. Illicit flows have further fuelled terrorism and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
5. Our sub-region is not only a victim of Illicit financial flows but also of human trafficking, arms and drugs trade with dire consequences on the wellbeing of our people and on national security.
6. It is common knowledge that illicit flows compound the problems of corruption and impede efforts towards sustainable economic growth. This is why, I will continue to take decisive action to fight corruption and confront insecurity especially in the border areas. In addition, relevant agencies have also been mandated to work towards strengthening regional and international partnership to address these threats.
7. To effectively combat illicit flows, it is necessary that we collectively bring adequate resources and reinforce our capabilities to address transnational organized crime, as no government can do it alone.
8. I am aware that one of the key facilitators of transnational organized crime including illicit flows, is the porous nature of our borders. This is a major challenge to our region. In this context, we will continue to count on the support of our international partners for new technologies to effectively police our borders.
9. Here in the West African sub-region we have taken important steps to address some of our security concerns through improved political governance as contained in the relevant regional mechanisms of ECOWAS, which I currently have the privilege of chairing. I therefore , welcome the Munich Security Conference for launching its Transnational Security Report in Abuja today.
10. I am pleased that the launching of this report on the eve of the ECOWAS Summit, offers a unique opportunity to bring together decision-makers and experts to discuss new cooperation approaches to counter the challenges of illicit flows and other transnational crimes.
11. I am confident that your deliberations will produce positive results which will guide us to strengthen our existing frameworks and strategies for durable solutions to our current cross-border security challenges. On this note, I wish you all very fruitful deliberations.
I thank you for your attention.