Nigeria kick-starts Voluntary Asset Repatriation Scheme

Nigeria is set to partner with foreign consultants comprising legal practitioners and other experts in Switzerland on a voluntary offshore asset repatriation scheme.

Mr Abubakar Malami the Minister of Justice disclosed this in Bern on the sidelines of a meeting held at the Nigerian Embassy.

Malami said that under the scheme, experts would collaborate with the Swiss government to funds that have not been identified in ongoing investigations.

Since 2015, 322 million dollars looted funds have been repatriated from Switzerland .

According to Malami, Switzerland has been chosen as the pilot nation for the scheme the existing partnership on asset repatriation between both countries.

“The success of the scheme in Switzerland would determine the of other nations” He added.

The Minister also said that government was also involved in other international repatriation processes while noting the recent tripartite meeting held in the UK between Nigeria, U.S. and the State of Jesery on asset recovery.

Speaking on the utilisation of the repatriated funds, Malami said that the monies were being channeled into various projects closely monitored by the World and the Swiss Civil Society Organisations.

“In a Memorandum of Understanding on Repatriation signed between Nigeria and Switzerland are check mechanisms imbedded in the agreement “

“These checks and balances would see to the effective and transparent utilisation of the monies repatriated”

“This include monitoring by the world , participation of the swiss civil society and agreement of targeted projects especially those related to social investments such as school feeding , entrepreneurial and skill acquisition programmes of the Federal government”

“These are some of the projects agreed for the use of the repatriated funds and government is religiously observing the terms as agreed upon in the agreement” The Minister stressed.

Malami also pledged government’s continued commitment to its prevention, legislation, enforcement and recovery strategies in the campaign against corruption noting that the Single Treasury System and electronic salary payment scheme IPPIS were among measures that have blocked existing leakages and loopholes fostering corruption. (NAN)