Nigeria seeks UN support to fight graft

Solomon Chung, Abuja

UN (4).JPG: Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed (left) and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa Mohammed Ibn Chambas (right) when the UN Official paid a courtesy visit to the Minister in Abuja on Friday
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has called for the support of the UN in fighting corruption, which he said is as dangerous and devastating as the fight against insecurity.
Speaking while receiving the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, on Friday in Abuja, the minister told him that the Federal Government had set up an inter-agency Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery (PCAR) as part of its efforts to strengthen the ongoing fight against corruption.


He explained that the PCAR, which was set up on the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption, will oversee the anti-corruption agenda and coordinate asset recovery.

Mohammed said the PCAR, which is headed by the Vice President, is coordinating the collation and categorization of recovered assets from 2015-2016; verifying the records and status of physical assets such as buildings recovered under previous administrations and setting up the framework for Management of Recovered Stolen Asset to avoid mismanagement of assets.

He said the creation of asset register for recovered stolen assets and other government assets to avoid a situation where former or even serving public officers carry away government assets like vehicles, computers etc. sometimes in multiples is also part of the mandate of the committee

The Minister said the Federal Government is determined to recover all assets illicitly acquired by public officers and other politically exposed persons, hence new measures are underway to enhance recovery of illegally acquired assets and these will be announced from time to
time.

To encourage whistle-blowers, the government is also considering an incentive framework for those who provide useful information that lead to recovery of stolen or illegally concealed public assets, he said, adding that the government is also soliciting support of Nigerians in diaspora and international NGOs in the campaign for asset return from foreign governments.

Mohammed said Nigeria remained determined and focused in stemming corruption, which is part of the reasons that Nigeria is suffering from economic recession.

”Just as you (UN) have supported us in the fight against insecurity in the North-east, we need your institutional, technical and diplomatic support in fighting corruption,” Mohammed told the visiting UN official.