President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated the Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets within and outside the country.
Members of the committee are, Olufemi Jinadu, Chinyere Bibiogha and Mohammad Nami.
Buhari said his administration embarked on tracing and recovery of all stolen assets within and outside Nigeria using legal and diplomatic resources at its disposal.
He said the gains of his administration’s initiatives over the past two and a half years had been obvious as evident in the level of investigation, prosecution and forfeitures involving both public and private sector officials in the country.
Buhari said the message had therefore been passed loud and clear that “Never again as a nation are we going to allow the wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds to private pockets.”
He said Nigerians would further recall that pursuant to requisite directives, recovered assets were progressively being returned to designated accounts by the anti-graft agencies and other agencies of government involved with the process.
“In the course of implementing this exercise and given the number of agencies who are concurrently pursuing specialized initiatives and making recoveries for government, it has become obvious that fundamental gaps still exist in ensuring that the recovered assets are accounted for, and managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner,” he said
The President explained that it was in realization of this that he directed, earlier in the year, that all agencies should send in detailed reports of all their recovered assets as at March 2017.
He said the decision to inaugurate the audit committee was therefore the next step in ensuring that all returns filed by the various agencies were accurate and consistent with actual recoveries made. He said the committee was therefore expected to judiciously undertake an audit of all recovery accounts established by government agencies from the date of opening such accounts up to 10th April, 2017.
The president said he looked forward to receiving the committee’s report and recommendations in due course, wishing them the best of luck in their assignment.