By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government has established an inter-agency, Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery (PCAR), to calibrate the ongoing fight against corruption.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, announced this yesterday when the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas paid him a courtesy visit.
PCAR is to be headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN). The Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption recommended for the creation of the committee to over-sight the anti-corruption agenda and coordinate asset recovery process.
In addition, the committee will verify the records and status of physical assets such as buildings recovered under previous administration and set up the framework for management of recovered stolen asset to avoid re-looting and mismanagement of asset as was experienced in the past. The period for the coordination, collation and categorisation of recovered assets is from 2015-2016.
According to Mohammed, government was determined to recover all assets acquired through questionable means by public officers and other politically exposed individuals. He added that new measures were underway to enhance recovery of illegally acquired assets, adding the public would be informed about the measures from time to time.
He also appealed to the United Nations to support government effort in nipping corruption, which he said was dangerous and devastating as the fight against insecurity.
“Just as the UN has supported us in the fight against insecurity
in the North-east, we need your institutional, technical and
diplomatic support in fighting corruption,” Mohammed appealed to Chambas.
The minister attributed the cause of the prevailing economic recession to corruption, adding that government remained determined and resolute in tackling the monster.
He said government would enlist the support of Nigerians in Diaspora in the campaign for return of assets stashed overseas, adding that government was considering a framework that will reward and protect those who provide useful information that lead to recovery of stolen or illegally concealed public assets.
Chambas lauded Nigeria for the successes recorded in the fight against terrorism, saying the UN was pleased with the military onslaught against Boko Haram, which has proclaimed its allegiance to the international terrorists’ network.