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IMF Chief on the Plague of Corruption; Nigerian President on Scale of Corruption in Nigeria; World Leaders Pledge to Tackle Corruption; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired May 12, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: a massive corruption scandal in Brazil brings down the president. She's not accused
of profiteering herself but she's out anyway.
And tonight we dig into the corrosive damage of corruption all around the globe with the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, attending the first
ever anti-corruption summit here in London.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: Corruption is pollution and it's pollution for all, advanced economies, developing countries alike.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Also attending, the Nigerian President Buhari, after the British prime minister called his country "fantastically
corrupt." My interview with him ahead.
Plus what can really be done to root out this scourge?
Co-host and Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland joins me.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
A historic day in Brazil as the senate voted to remove President Dilma Rousseff from power. She's accused of breaking budget rules but she
immediately faced the cameras to insist that she never committed any crimes and it is her opponents, in fact, who are corrupt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DILMA ROUSSEFF, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): I have suffered the pain of torture, the pain of a disease. And now I suffer one
more time the pain of injustice. What is more painful right now is the injustice, is to notice that I am a victim of a farce.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Rousseff told crowds that she was proud to be the first woman ever elected president of Brazil and she vowed to fight on.
Her fate lands on the very day the world is confronting the scourge of global corruption at a first-of-its-kind summit here in London.
It's a plague that keeps people this poverty and exacerbates the forces of violent extremism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The International Monetary Fund is also attending the summit and managing director Christine Lagarde joined me here in the studio
to speak about the unimaginable levels of daylight robbery in every corner of the globe.
AMANPOUR: Christine Lagarde, welcome to the program.
LAGARDE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Give me an idea, from the IMF facts and figures point of view, how many trillions and hundreds of billions of dollars are we talking
about in terms of corruption?
And what actually does it mean to governance and the well-being of society?
LAGARDE: What we believe is total bribes paid in the world is roughly 2 percentage points of GDP.
LAGARDE: Which is a huge amount.
AMANPOUR: That is huge.
LAGARDE: Yes. It is a huge amount. And that's only bribes. So corruption can take all sorts of different format. And corruption is
pollution. And it's pollution for all, advanced economies, developing countries alike, and which really corresponds to a lot of money and a lot
of impediment and break on growth.
If you're pro-growth, you have to be anti-corruption.
AMANPOUR: When you said 2 percent of global GDP is lost in bribes and that is just in bribes, do you have a trillion or do you have an actual
figure of the kind of money --
LAGARDE: It's -- 2 percent of GDP is roughly $2 trillion.
AMANPOUR: Down the tubes in somebody's pocket.
LAGARDE: In somebody's pocket, illicitly transferred. And it's -- as I said, it's that kind of pollution and hidden cost on growth and the
AMANPOUR: There are many people who say that, look, we've talked about corruption endlessly for many, many years. We've tried to tackle it.
But most of the governments who come to our summits are enabling corruption.
So how is it ever going to end?
LAGARDE: You know, the really interesting thing about this summit is that in addition to the 40 countries represented at the highest level, you
had civil society represented, a lot of NGOs, a lot of media participating in the process.
The business community was represented and head of international organizations. So they all came together. And I think there was a strong
sentiment that things had to change.
AMANPOUR: Is there an IMF prescription for combating corruption?
Are there methods, is there a list of things that have to be done or can be done?
LAGARDE: I'll give you the example of Ukraine, which I think is a really good one.
In Ukraine, we knew that there was corruption. One of the conditions was to actually put in place an anti-corruption agency.
LAGARDE: The devil is in the details.
How did you appoint the members on that commission?
Well, in the case of Ukraine, we called on civil society and we said, you please participate in the process of vetting who the members will be
for that anti-corruption commission. And that's what is happening.
AMANPOUR: I mean, there are countries, like this one, where all sorts of stolen and hidden wealth is plowed into real estate and any other kind
What responsibilities and mechanisms do host countries have for giving back that stolen money?
LAGARDE: Well, two initiatives were announced today. One, currently five, soon to be, we hope, 11 countries have agreed to put in place a
registry of beneficial ownership because that's the nice obscurity veil that protects people who are actually storing money, illicit funds, in
those nice, convenient vehicles.
So to have those countries say no longer obscurity, that's clarity. And they will be, by the way, a register of beneficial owners. That is
The other thing which was announced today was that there would be here in London an agency that would specifically concentrate information on
stolen assets and stolen asset recoveries because what we heard loud and clear from many of the African countries in particular was that, once they
were trying to recover those stolen assets, there were multiple obstacles and hurdles and barriers of a legal nature sometimes that would prevent
them from recovering the funds that had been illicitly taken from their country.
So I think that the initiative of David Cameron has been good in pointing the finger on the two-way streets. Assets are stolen and they're
stored somewhere and it takes initiatives in both countries to make sure that it goes back to where it belongs.
AMANPOUR: What is your strategy if Britain votes to get out of the E.U.?
LAGARDE: We will continue to do the work that we have do in relation to all our members. But we will certainly call the attention of the entire
global community to the risk that would result from such a change.
And we are seeing some of those risks already that are linked to uncertainty, the unpredictable nature of the relationship between the U.K.
and the rest of the world and certainly the rest of the European Union.
We have already revised downward our forecast for growth. We were at 2.2 at the last world economy outlook this April; we revised it down to
1.9. When you look at the sterling, it does clearly decline in value by about 9 percent since the beginning of the year, which is pretty huge,
which is a lot of depreciation based on simple uncertainty that people are imposing upon themselves.
So we will warn against that; we will warn against the spillovers of those negative consequences, because it will affect the rest of the world,
no doubt about it.
AMANPOUR: Do you see sterling dropping even further if there is a Brexit vote on June 23rd?
LAGARDE: It's very difficult to assess what markets have already priced in and how much more will result from any such decision. But we
have teams that have been in the U.K. for the last few weeks, which are completing their work tonight.
So I have a long meeting tonight with them. And tomorrow we will come out and I will come out publicly with the outcome of their research and
their findings. But I would be very, very surprised if it wasn't at least as much uncertainty and as much downward consequences and reduced growth
and negative output altogether.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Christine Lagarde, thank you very much for joining us.
LAGARDE: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So as you just heard there, a potentially gloomy outlook that Christine Lagarde and the IMF will reveal publicly tomorrow about
risks of a Brexit.
And up next, tackling the corruption problem head-on in one of the most notoriously corrupt nations. My interview with the Nigerian
president, Muhammadu Buhari, after this.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Now even before the anti-corruption summit started here in London, it was rocked by Prime Minister Cameron, calling two of the guest nations,
Nigeria and Afghanistan "fantastically corrupt." But amazingly both their presidents agreed with him.
Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani says it's a legacy of the past that he's determined to clean up.
And Nigeria's leader, Muhammadu Buhari, told me that Cameron is right and every Nigerian knows how much corruption plagues all aspects of their
lives, even the fight against Boko Haram and the effort to get back the missing Chibok girls.
AMANPOUR: President Buhari, welcome to the program.
MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You are here for an anti-corruption summit and try to tackle this big scourge. Of course it's been overshadowed by what the
prime minister said to the queen about your country and Afghanistan, calling you "fantastically corrupt."
What is your reaction to that?
BUHARI: Well, I think he's being honest about it. He's talking about what he knows about the two of us, Afghanistan and Nigeria, and by what we
are doing in Nigeria by the day. I don't think you can fault him. I hope he did not address the press.
He said it privately and somehow you got to know it.
AMANPOUR: That's true. He said it privately; he didn't think that it was going to be broadcast but it was.
And you are being very blunt and very honest yourself by saying that he was right. And you told me, Mr. President, during your campaign that we
have to kill corruption or else corruption will kill Nigeria.
How are you doing?
Are you making any inroads?
BUHARI: Yes, we are. And those that are following the developments see it. Nigerians now are acutely aware that what we were saying during
our campaign, that was no exaggeration.
And a few instances where $2.1 billion --
BUHARI: -- billion, not million, dollars were voted for military hard and software for the operations against Boko Haram. Those responsible sat
done as if they were going to have lunch or dinner and shared it and put it in their accounts.
AMANPOUR: You're kidding.
The money that you designated to fight your major terrorist group, Boko Haram, they put it in their pockets?
AMANPOUR: And what do you do with these people who do that?
Do the heads roll in terms of losing their jobs, getting fired?
BUHARI: Well, most of them are now behind the bars. We're getting the documents corrected in a way so that we can secure successful
AMANPOUR: You've also talked about having gone through a lot of papers and found sort of legions of so-called "ghost workers," people who
are pulling salaries who don't even exist or for jobs that don't even exist. I think 23,000 of these so-called ghost workers --
BUHARI: So far.
AMANPOUR: Are there many thousands more?
BUHARI: I suspect, yes.
AMANPOUR: So you've been getting rid of them systematically?
BUHARI: We have to. They never existed, so the question of getting rid of them does not arise. All we are doing now, those who have been
signing those vouchers and pocketing the money, we have to return it. It's a question of for how long have they been doing it and for how many.
AMANPOUR: You obviously knew that this corruption was a major problem because you took it as your main plank and platform during your campaign.
Since becoming president, are you more shocked or less shocked by the extent of corruption that's crippled so many of the structures and
infrastructure of Nigeria over the years?
BUHARI: Much more shocked.
AMANPOUR: You're more shocked?
AMANPOUR: The issue of Boko Haram is something that the whole world is looking at Nigeria for, particularly these poor girls, the Chibok girls,
who have become an international symbol --
AMANPOUR: -- for all that is wrong with this terrorism, with this radical Islamism and with the attack on civilians, especially girls. Give
me a status report of your promise that you would have defeated Boko Haram by the first year of your presidency.
BUHARI: Well, those following us closely will know that, when we came in, Boko Haram was holding at least 14 out of 774 local governments in
Nigeria. They pitched their flag and called it some sort of a republic, a caliphate of some sort.
But now you ask the people of the state, Borno, Boko Haram is not holding any particular local government. But what they are doing, they
have gone down to technology, improvised explosive devices for soft targets, such as mosques, marketplaces, motor parks and just killed people
That's what they are doing. So they have rapidly alienated themselves to the public.
AMANPOUR: These girls are still captive, many of them. Your government received a proof of life video for about 15 of them earlier this
CNN, our colleague, Nima Elbagir, who was in Nigeria, got a hold of this video. She was shown it. And she then showed it to the families.
And this was the first they had seen of proof of life of their lovely girls, of their missing girls.
Why did it take our colleague to have to show the families?
Why didn't the government share this information with them?
BUHARI: I haven't seen that video. But even if I see it, I will be very careful about showing it to the family. There is no point to
deliberately raise the hope of the families if you can't meet them.
I saw the families as a group twice. One, they came to visit my wife. Two, they came as a group to see me. And the less I see them, the better
for my own emotional balance.
AMANPOUR: It makes you sad.
BUHARI: Yes. I try to imagine my 14-year-old daughter, 14 to 18, missing for more than two years, trying to imagine what condition are they
in. A lot of the families would rather see their graves than imagine the condition they're in now.
AMANPOUR: It's tragic.
BUHARI: It's tragic.
AMANPOUR: President Buhari, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
BUHARI: Thank you, Ms. Amanpour.
AMANPOUR: And coming up, the woman steering President Buhari and his counterparts through today's summit. The new Secretary General of the
Commonwealth Nations, Baroness Scotland, joins me live in the studio -- after this.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
We've just been hearing from the IMF president, Christine Lagarde, who told me, quote, "Corruption is pollution that affects the world's poorest
And earlier this week, the U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, told me how corruption contributes to terrorism.
And in my interview with Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, we heard how corruption -- or how corrupt Nigerian officials pocketed billions
of dollars allocated to the fight against Boko Haram.
So can today's anti-corruption summit here make any difference?
AMANPOUR: Joining me now is one of the summit's hosts Baroness Scotland, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
Thanks for joining us and congratulations. You've just been appointed to this job.
So let me ask you, was it a good thing or bad thing, in the end, that David Cameron's comments were caught off-camera but, nonetheless, were made
BARONESS PATRICIA SCOTLAND, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH: I don't know whether we can say good or bad but what it did do is it
highlighted the truth. And it do so in a very raw way. But I think what's been really very impressive is the way both President Buhari and the
Afghanistan president responded, because they didn't shy away from it. They faced it head-on.
Now both of them, of course, had been elected on the basis that they were coming to clean up house.
AMANPOUR: You heard, because a journalist asked Buhari, do you want an apology?
He said no, I want my assets back.
AMANPOUR: And this country and others who hold stolen basically assets that are plowed into here and hidden in investments also has a
SCOTLAND: Absolutely. And I think that's why it was really good to hear the prime minister, David Cameron, and John Kerry absolutely step up
to the plate on that and say, absolutely right, the money is going into assets in all of our countries.
So we do need to find it, we need to identify it and we need to return it to those countries who desperately need this money.
That's what's heartbreaking, that money that should be going on health, on looking after children, on building roads and houses and making
life for the people in the most deprived countries better is being siphoned away by corrupt people who really don't give tuppence about the devastation
and the damage and the pain that they cause.
AMANPOUR: Let me play -- to what you've just said -- let me play a little bit of what Secretary of State John Kerry told me about this very
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe the theft of these vast sums of money from many nations in the world is part of what contributes to
radicalism, to extremism, to terrorism. It breeds an incestuous disrespect within a country for the political system.
And it hurts everybody by robbing from people their health care, their housing, their education, their infrastructure, their investments for the
future. And that's why it's so important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So is it actually possible to somehow root this out and just end this scourge?
SCOTLAND: I think it is. But I think it will take absolutely every one of us.
So it's not just what governments can do, what local governments can do. It's what about civil society. What about business, what about
individuals like you, like me. What can we do to it make sure that we are not tolerant about the petty corruption that takes place.
Because it's not just the big corrupt practices.
What about the small person in the street, who is asked to get money every time they want to buy something?
They want to get medical treatment for their child but they have to pay a little something in order to get it.
What about what happened in Tunisia, where a fruit seller couldn't get a license and he was constantly being crowded and belittled and harried by
He set himself alight. That's where it can lead.
AMANPOUR: And you know what, ordinary business people in Brazil -- and we've just seen what happened in Brazil today -- have talked about the
very same endemic corruption. They can't get a single thing done without having to pay people off.
And then getting coerced -- it's like a protection racket -- and extortion forever. You are the secretary general of the commonwealth.
Sadly, a lot of most corrupt countries are commonwealth countries just like Nigeria.
Give me an idea -- because we heard the president talk about already getting rid of thousands of ghost workers and trying to trace billions of
dollars that he had put aside for the fight against Boko Haram.
Tell me what you know about the corruption and how pervasive it is.
SCOTLAND: OK. Well, the first thing I think all of us need to understand is we're all in this. It's really important that we realize
it's not one country. It's all of our countries because, as Christine Lagarde said today, if you -- officials don't bribe themselves. Someone
has to bribe them.
And if you're an international business wanting to do business in these small countries and you bribe an official, that is very powerful and
corrupt and corrosive.
So understanding that every single one of our countries is involved in this somewhere along the line is really important because we need to be
part of the solution and create tools, which we can all use to get money back to where it needs to be.
AMANPOUR: Right. But also the West -- we pour billions of dollars into trying to help countries stand up, like Afghanistan and many others.
And then that also gets looted, plundered, pilfered and you're left with shells of projects that have either been built or ghost projects that have
been funded but never built.
And this perpetuation of corruption, what is the answer there?
SCOTLAND: Well, some of the things that we can do and what I am now doing is looking at the tools we have.
So for example, the Commonwealth is 2.2 billion people. They have same common language, same common law, same structured systems in terms of
So what we can do and what I intend to do is to build tools which all of us can use to interdict this behavior and to stop it. So I'm going to
create an office of criminal justice reform and civil justice reform so we can look at all the best things that everybody is doing, best practice,
share it, train, interweave our systems in a way that we can respond much more aggressively, much more successfully and get that money back but, also
much more importantly, stop it happening in the first place.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you a slightly different question but nonetheless about a commonwealth country: Uganda. Today, the long-time
president has been elected again after many, many, many terms.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is among the guests and he, as you know, is wanted by the International Criminal Court.
What will you tell Museveni?
Do you have a role?
Can you advise him either not to have him there or to arrest him when gets there?
SCOTLAND: Well, the most important thing to know is that every country in the commonwealth is a sovereign country, just as an alignment
and a family. And we have common values.
So sometimes most of the successful things you can do is to have that conversation, hopefully a conversation in a way that people will hear you.
And it is a journey. Nothing happens all at once. But I think sometimes there are difficult conversations to be had.
AMANPOUR: Which you'll be having.
SCOTLAND: Well, you know, one of the great things about being secretary general is that you have conversations in public and then you
have other conversations.
AMANPOUR: We'll be watching. Secretary General Baroness Scotland, thank you very much indeed.
And, in fact, that is it for our program tonight. Thanks for watching and good night from London.