Illicit Financial Flow Threatening Economic Stability

A section of dignitaries at the public forum. INSET: George Winful Swanzy addressing the forum


The Director of Revenue and Policy Division at the Ministry of Finance, George Swanzy Winful, has expressed concern over the heightened illicit financial outflows.

He explained that as a result of the illegal trading activities, the government is unable to track the operations of businesses, thereby reducing revenue collection.

According to Mr. Winful a recent World Bank report suggested that Ghana loses $340 million annually to illicit financial flow.

“The annual losses we incur as a country have threatened economic stability and the country’s ability to generate revenue for other developmental projects. There is a need for stakeholders in the country to work together to fight this menace. CSO, media are encouraged to show more interest in this subject by putting more spotlight on illicit financial flows in the country,” he said.

Mr. Winful who spoke on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Finance in charge of Revenue Mobilization, made this statement at the Public Forum organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa on the Role of the Media in the Fight Against Illicit Financial Flows in Ghana.

The forum was under the theme, “Improving Domestic Revenue Mobilisation and Combating Illicit Financial Flows in Ghana: The Role of the Media and Other Stakeholders

He also stated that the government in its quest to reset the economy and accelerate economic transformation designed 2023 as the post-Covid-19 programme for economic growth as a medium-term revenue strategy to serve as a guide in tax policy formulation and administration over the medium term.

“This strategy document will not only allow us to improve our tax to GDP target from the current 13% to 20% over the medium term but will also help in promoting tax certainty and predictability among taxpayers” he added.

Similarly, Assistant Commissioner and Special Technical Adviser to the Commissioner General, Dominic Naab also established the damages caused by illicit financial flows, noting that it has affected the authority’s domestic revenue mobilization efforts.

In reference to the Africa Centre for Energy Policy 2015 publication on the extent and nature of illicit flows in Ghana, Dominic Naab stated that the report suggests that a total of USD 7.2 million of illicit financial flows are recorded annually, denying the country the needed resources for financial dependency.

Speaking on behalf of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Detective Stanley Fixin Amoah also indicated that the Global Financial Integrity 2015 report revealed that the country from 1960 and 2012 lost $40 billion through trade-based IFF.

In addition, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) estimates Ghana lost $19.5 billion in trade mis-invoicing between 2000 and 2016 based on IFF.

“EOCO with the mandate to prevent and prosecute all serious economic and organised crimes in Ghana is ready to partner with stakeholders to fight the menace to the nearest minimum to fight tax invasion,” he said.


BY Prince Fiifi Yorke