FG engages public on recovered assets’ monitoring, implementation

•Launches CLEEN foundation website

The Federal Government has launched a website that would ensure transparency and accountability in the 2020 Tripartite Agreement to engage the general public on the implementation and asset monitoring of public officers’ loots.

Speaking the launch of the website, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) disclosed that, the Website was set up in collaboration with CLEEN Foundation, a Civil Society Organization (CSO) responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the 2020 Tripartite Agreement signed between the Federal Republic of Nigeria, United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey.

He explained that the President’s clarion call and the global engagement by his ministry led to the signing of an Asset Return Agreement with Switzerland and the World Bank for the return of $322 million USD in 2017.

He said the funds were utilized for the National Cash Transfer Office Program paid to poor households under the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on National Socio-Investment which is now subsumed under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Malami explained that the World Bank was made to provide additional oversight over the use of the funds, to ensure transparency.

“In 2020 the Federal Republic of Nigeria recorded another success with the execution of another Asset Return Agreement with the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey for the return of over $311 Million USD which was channelled to the Presidential Development Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) projects namely; the Lagos Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kano Road and the Second Niger Bridge under the management of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA),” he added.

He explained that the agreement signed among the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the USA and the Bailiwick of Jersey recognized the need to have a non-state actor as a monitor and therefore jointly approved the recruitment of CLEEN Foundation, in line with the Global Forum Asset Recovery (GFAR) principles on transparency.

He said that the framework for the use of the funds was based on the following criteria: judgement of foreign jurisdiction; mutual legal assistance requests; multilateral engagements guided by international cooperation under the UN Convention against Corruption.

“It is against this background that I wish to reiterate this government’s commitment to the goal of using the assets recovered judiciously for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

In her welcome address, the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, represented by the Special Adviser on Justice Reform and International Relations, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, said the public engagement session was in line with the 2020 Tripartite Agreement.

Beatrice applauded the international partners and the governments of Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Bailiwick of Jersey and Ireland who had worked assiduously in ensuring the repatriation of recovered assets to Nigeria.

The Managing Director, National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Mr Uche Orji, the implementing Authority in his briefing said, the completion of the 2nd Niger Bridge had reached 94% and would be completed by November 2022 while Lagos –Ibadan Express Way and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Express Way are on progress and would be ready very soon.

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