President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to continue to deny looters of public funds the fruit of their crime.
He also vowed to evolve a proper management, transparency and accountability culture in the management of Nigeria recovered assets.
The President spoke today, Tuesday at the presidential Villa, Abuja when he received the report of a three-man presidential committee set up to carry out a comprehensive audit of assets and funds recovered by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria from 29th May 2015 to 22nd November 2017.
Buhari insisted that corruption constitutes a threat to the well-being, national security, and economy of Nigeria even as he made it clear that his government will not allow the wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds into private pockets.
“Thus, we intend to continue taking all necessary measures to deprive looters of public assets of the fruits of their crimes.
“It is in keeping with the Anti-corruption Policy of this Government, and in line with global best practices that this Committee was set-up to review our asset recovery and management practices in order
“Given our history of impunity, much of Nigeria’s wealth has historically been squandered or stolen; leaving us with inadequate infrastructure for our growing population and economy. Asset Recovery is thus one of the essential tools for fighting corruption and we must therefore take issues of managing such recovered assets very seriously.
“We must utilize proceeds of our recoveries optimally to address our economic and social problems, and loopholes for stealing public funds must be blocked.
“To this end, let me assure Nigerians that the findings and recommendations of the Committee would be carefully examined and given due consideration with a view to implementing the recommendations. Our asset recovery and management system will in future be transparently, effectively and efficiently managed, and we will set-out a fresh template of public accountability in the country.”
The President stressed that the key tool that will revolutionize asset recovery and management architecture is the Proceeds of Crimes Bill which is currently awaiting passage by the National Assembly.
“Once the Bill is passed and assented, many of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice will be adequately taken care of as the Bill addresses most of the challenges facing effective asset recovery and management in Nigeria.
He therefore encouraged the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the Bill.”
Buhari assured Nigerians that his administration shall continue to keep faith with its promise, and shall remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status and surmounts all her security challenges.