President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will make sure that looters do not enjoy the fruit of their crimes. Buhari said this on Thursday when he received the report of the committee he set up to audit recovered funds. He described corruption as a threat to the well-being, national security, and economy of Nigeria.
“We will not allow the wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds into private pockets,” he said.
“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 to evolve a proper management, transparency and accountability culture in the management of recovered assets.
He also urged the national assembly to facilitate the passage of the proceeds of crime bill.
The president said the passage of the bill would help in the fight against corruption.
The bill has been passed by the house of representatives but is awaiting concurrence at the senate.
It seeks to provide a “legal and institutional framework for the confiscation, seizure, forfeiture, recovery and management of assets or proceeds derived from unlawful activities, including instrumentalities used or intended to be used in the commission of unlawful activities.”
Its passage suffered a setback when the president recently signed an executive order seeking seizure of assets under probe.
“A key tool that will revolutionize our asset recovery and management architecture is the proceeds of crimes bill which is currently awaiting passage by the national assembly,” Buhari said.
“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.
“I therefore encourage the national assembly to take necessary steps to pass the bill.”