The Nigerian government on Monday in Abuja, inaugurated a 22-member inter-ministerial committee with the mandate to sell off assets recovered from looters.
The committee, “Inter-ministerial committee on the disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s forfeited assets,” was inaugurated by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Malami asked members of the committee to make use of “the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, the Standard Operating Procedures and Terms of Reference” as tools that might assist them on the best way to quickly dispose the assets in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.
“Your mandate is to ensure the expedient disposal of all FGN Forfeited Assets and generate revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“I wish to implore the inter-ministerial committee to work as a formidable team with the relevant agencies in accordance with extant laws and regulations.
“It is also my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country.
“I must, however, warn that the task before the Inter-Ministerial Committee is an enormous one and must be conducted with utmost dignity having the interest of Nigeria at heart. Thus, much is expected from the committee,” Malami said.
The committee members were selected from the offices of the Chief of Staff to the President; Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Auditor-General of the Federation; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission, and the Nigerian Army.
Others are, the Nigerian Navy; Nigeria Police; Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; Department of State Security; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Oil Spillage, Detection and Response Agency; and the Bureau of Public Procurement.
Also to work with the committee are representatives of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs); a representative of the youth organisations, a representative of the media; and any other Nigerian with exceptional expertise, who the AGF seems fit.
The secretariat of the committee is at the Assets Tracing Recovery and Management Unit in the office of the AGF.
Speaking during the inauguration, the chairman of the committee and Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata said, “I assure you that our committee will be guided by the twin principles of transparency and accountability.”
He called on all assets recovery agencies of the government to make sure the forward records of recovered assets to the committee’s secretariat.