Minister seeks Diaspora support to retrieve stolen funds

MINISTER of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has sought the support of Nigerians living abroad as well as international non-governmental organisations for stolen assets starched in foreign countries to be returned from foreign host governments.

This came as he announced that the Federal Government was to offer incentives to those who provided useful information that could lead to recovery of stolen or illegally-concealed public assets.

Speaking while receiving the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in his office, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said an inter-agency Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had been created to coordinate collation and categorization of recovered assets from 2015-2016.

He said that the committee was set up following the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption to over-see the anti-corruption agenda and coordinate asset recovery process.

According to him, part of the mandates of the committee was to verify the records and status of physical assets such as buildings recovered under previous administration and set up framework for management of recovered stolen assets to avoid re-looting and mismanagement of the assets.

The minister said that an asset register had been created for recovered stolen assets and other government assets to avoid a situation where former or even serving public officers carted away government assets.

He said that the measures would strengthen the ongoing fight against corruption.

Alhaji Mohammed noted that the Federal Government was determined tPo recover all assets illicitly acquired by public officers and other politically-exposed persons, and noted that new measures were underway to enhance recovery of illegally acquired assets which would be announced from time to time.

‎He said that the country remained determined and focused to end‎ corruption, describing it as part of the reasons that the country was suffering from economic‎ recession.