By Wondrous Nnaemeka
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has said that the $322million looted assets recovered (in 2017) from Switzerland helped the federal government to lay a solid foundation for getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
The AGF explained the funds were channeled through social investment programs like the national homegrown school feeding program, N-power job creation and youth empowerment program among others.
He therefore called for international support and cross-border collaboration among countries in ensuring that illicit financial flows are combatted effectively.
This was disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, to the AGF.
Malami addressed relevant stakeholders in the United States on “food security response: combating illicit financial flows and securing assets returns for sustainable development.”
The event was organised by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of the New Partnership for Agricultural Development (NEPAD) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York USA on Friday.
Malami said that transformative solutions to the thorny issues of International Financial Flows (IFFs), looting, internet-related crimes and other threats to global economic growth and development will surely require the bilateral cooperation of all stakeholders.
Malami added that such cooperation was germane because the UN General Assembly had already backed the “promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development.”
He noted that African Countries are also suffering from these illicit financial flows as it negatively affects
the African Union’s Agenda 2063 drives towards an integrated,
prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
“Indeed, these challenges are truly interlocking and have put our collective ability to devise innovative solutions to the test,” Malami added.
The statement partly reads:
“According to Malami, the vision can only be realized when the key to life, ‘nourishment’ is guaranteed and secured maintaining that “tackling illicit financial flows, in terms of blocking the leakages and recovery of looted assets, will open the door to releasing the much-needed investment in productive sectors, inclusive of food security.
“Malami said Nigeria has demonstrated the workability of application of returned looted assets for sustainable development.
“Malami said that Food Security Response was placed on top of Africa’s 2022 agenda to align with the Global Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
“He noted that crisis experienced in the globe as well as onslaughts of terrorism and criminality continued to exacerbate challenges to world peace posed by starvation, malnutrition, diseases, climate change which he said continue to contribute to a worsening global economy.
“While highlighting the nexus between illicit financial flows and food security Malami cited reports from law enforcement agencies especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that showed that IFFS undermine efforts to development including food security.
“He said that the Federal Government has put in place laws and frameworks to address IFFs noting that this year President Muhammad Buhari has signed the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act, (2022), the Proceed of Crimes Act among others.”
Source: The Whistler.