• Friday, March 01, 2024
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ICPC urges FG to adopt strategy of asset recovery

ICPC

For the fight against corruption in Nigeria to be a win-win crusade, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has urged the Federal Government to adopt strategy of asset recovery and return to the source.

Bolaji Owasanoye, a professor and the ICPC chairman made the call during the 20th African Union (AU) Anti-corruption day held in Lokoja. He hinted that the negative impact of corruption on the continent’s economic development was obvious, as the worst affected victims of corruption have remained vulnerable poor and marginalised.

Owasanoye also said since the proceeds of crime ends in assets stashed mostly abroad, it is germane that Nigeria should adopt the strategy of asset recovery to tackle the menace in the society.

Represented by Chile Patrick Ogwuegbu, the state commissioner in Kogi State, the ICPC Chairman noted that the new policy focus of the commission was to ensure effective utilisation of budgetary allocations to social welfare and human development

“This policy will lead to improvement in social indicators, human development index, attainment of SDG and a more favourable corruption perception for Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, “On the other hand, the commission intends to use provisions of its law, especially on non-conviction-based asset forfeiture to deny corrupt persons use of whatever they have stolen from Nigerian people and make more resources available for development.

“The commission is presently tracking the execution of constituency capital projects across the country so as to ensure that the projects are properly executed and delivered to the communities they were meant for.”

He equally pointed out that investigation is also being conducted on tax fraud, illicit financial flow and money laundering to prosecute offenders, noting that as a body, effort has been geared towards the recovery of identified stolen wealth, which he said would be transformational for the nation.

“Millions of Nigerians suffering denial of basic social services and lack of infrastructure such as hospitals, schools water and employment will receive succour when stolen assets are recovered from looters,” he said.

Mohammed Abdullahi, Kogi State director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), described corruption as war that all Nigerians must fight setting apart tribe and religion.

Abdullahi also called on the federal and state governments to do the needful through the implementation of some policies that can curb corruption, adding that the menace has already displayed the poor standard of living in the country.

 

VICTORIA NNAKIAIKE, Lokoja