Published on Aug 28, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that by the time the Buhari administration concluded discussions with the government of the United States of America, Nigerians, including ex petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Maduek, who have stashed the country’s wealth in the foreign land would have no place to hide.
Professor Osinbajo, who disclosed this when he received in audience, a US Congressional Delegation to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that Nigerian government has reached out to the Donald Trump’s government on this.
“We have made moves to the US government to step up its assistance in ensuring that corrupt Nigerian officials don’t get a safe haven abroad for their loots.
Vice President Osinbajo stressed that both countries are working on a prompt repatriation of the funds.
“We have reached out to the US government with respect to helping with repatriation of proceeds of crime and proceeds of corruption.’’
Prof. Osinbajo expressed appreciation for the support given by the US so far, adding that the Buhari administration regarded corruption as an existential threat that must be dealt with at its root.
“We have worked quite closely with the US government on repatriation of funds; we have seen some results.”
He added that the Federal Government is hoping for more improvement in the process.
“We think that this is very important because what tends to happen with corrupt public officials is that if they are able to find a safe haven for the proceeds of their criminality, not only are they encouraged as individuals but there is the general feeling that if I am able to get the proceeds out of the country I might just get away with it,
“This is one of the reasons why we have taken several actions to ensure that we are able to deal with it because some of the major dislocations in the economy are on account of the problems that we have seen with corruption.”
Professor Osinbajo said that the Buhari presidency’s strategy which he said, is one of the most effective ways of fighting corruption, is to ensure that these proceeds are unsafe and for people to know that they would be found out and they would be punished for it “and we would seize whatever profit they had gain.”
On the return of the Chibok girls, the Vice President said: “it is an issue in the front burner for us all the time, there is no question of not continuing to negotiate and looking for the girls.”
He expressed gratitude to God for the hope that the girls are still alive and would be released, adding: “negotiations are continuing and government would keep looking for the opportunity to bring them back.”
The Vice President thanked the US government for its recent decision to sell Super Tucano aircrafts to Nigeria to aid its fight against insurgency in the North-East.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Coons, who led the delegation said that the visit was to reaffirm the relationship between Nigeria and the United States.
“The US has an enduring enthusiasm and partnership with Nigeria.”
Other members of the Congressional delegation include, Senator Gary Peters, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Michael Bennet, Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester, Terri Sewell, Charlie Dent, Barbara Lee and Frederica Wilson.
They were accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.
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