Nigeria – The Nigerian House of Representatives is planning new laws that would ensure effective and efficient management and utilisation of all recovered assets for the benefit of the country.
Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila disclosed this in Abuja at a one-day investigative hearing on the assessment and status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 – 2020.
Represented by the Deputy House Leader, Mr. Peter Akpatason, Mr. Gbajabiamila said the measure was to restore the confidence of Nigerians that those assets are being properly managed and to provide revenue for the country.
“This hearing is part of the commitment by the House of Representatives, in its Legislative Agenda, to ensure transparency in the management of state assets.
It is also part of our commitment to explore all the avenues available for generating income for the government to meet its obligations to the people. Considering the dire straits of our national economy, it will be most unfortunate that valuable and potentially income generating assets are misused, misappropriated or underutilized.” Mr. Akpatason added.
The Speaker explained that the House would not relent in its efforts to strengthen the government’s fight against corruption, for the country to develop.
He said that “The commitment to fight and eradicate corruption from Nigeria is significantly undermined, if the Nigerian people do not have the confidence that those who have responsibility for these assets will use them to the national benefit.
The war against corruption will not likely succeed if the Nigerian people do not have confidence that recovered assets cannot be properly accounted for by those who have the responsibility.”
The Chairman of the adhoc Committee, Mr. Adejero Adeogun said the investigation was to strengthen the existing legislations and ensure transparency in the management of the recovered assets.
Mr. Adeogun who expressed confidence that the outcome would assist the government and the country in reducing revenue leakages as well as benefit more from the recovered assets.
“As a committee of the House, we believed that the outcome of this investigation will illuminate the Looted Assets Recovery Process and that whatever recommendation we make at the end of the exercise will help in fashioning aou new legislation, strengthen existing ones and provide impetus for more transparency in the recovery of looted assets and management of recoveries.” He added.
While expressing concern over non-appearance of the Chief Executives invited for the investigation, the committee directed the Accountant General of the Federation, the Attorney General of the Federation and Chairman EFCC to appear before it on Tuesday.VoN