President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will ensure judicious utilisation of recovered stolen public funds to address the nation’s socio-economic problems.
The president, who stated this when he received the Report of the 3-man committee set up to audit recovered funds at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, said loopholes for stealing public funds must be blocked.
He said that his administration would not allow the wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds into private pockets.
According to him, the Federal Government will continue to take all necessary measures to deprive looters of public assets access to 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.
“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,’’ he added.
To this end, Buhari assured Nigerians that the findings and recommendations of the Committee would be carefully examined and given due consideration with a view to implementing the recommendations.
According to the President, the nation’s asset recovery and management system will in future be transparently, effectively and efficiently managed; and government will set-out a fresh template of public accountability in the country.
“However, 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.
“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 said.
Buhari, therefore, enjoined the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the Bill.