Politics

Buhari approves harmonised national anti-corruption strategy

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the implementation of harmonised National Anti-Corruption Strategy, NACS, to enhance the effort of his administration to recover stolen public assets.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, who made the disclosure on Friday, said the new strategy would ensure better collaboration among all the anti-corruption agencies in the country.

The AGF further revealed that the Asset Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) in the Federal Ministry of Justice, would serve as the Secretariat for the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.

“The ARMU also serves as the central coordinating unit for asset recovery and has been mandated with ensuring proper record keeping of assets recovered by the FMOJ”, Malami stated before he flagged-off the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Stakeholders Validation Retreat on the 2nd National Action Plan (NAP), in Abuja.

The AGF maintained that President Buhari’s administration had within the past three years, recorded greater transparency in asset recovery. He said most of the recoveries were “applied towards the implementation of Nigeria’s annual budget, as well as in social investment for the poor”.

Malami noted that the essence of the retreat was for Nigeria to validate a draft 2nd National Action Plan it would submit to the International Secretariat of the OGP by the end of this month to ensure that the country does not lose its membership of the global body.

“As we may all recall, OGP is a product of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to strengthen anti-corruption reforms. You will also recall that the President made the OGP declaration at the Anti-Corruption Summit that held in the United Kingdom in May 2016.

“Flowing from the President’s commitment at the Anti-Corruption Summit, Nigeria joined the Open Government Partnership in July 2016 as a tool to foster transparency and accountability through targeted measures.

“It should be recalled that while joining OGP, Nigeria committed to promoting fiscal transparency, improve public procurement and open contracting, access to information, asset disclosure, citizen engagement and empowerment thereby consolidating on-going reform efforts within and outside the public service.

“In order to ensure proper coordination of OGP, the President named the Federal Ministry of Justice as the coordinating Ministry for the implementation of OGP and as such, the Secretariat was located in the Ministry to act as the coordinating Ministry. “The Ministry has played that role effectively in the past two years and would continue to do so unless otherwise directed by the President.

“You will agree with me that it was not too long ago when stakeholders gathered in Kaduna, precisely, in October 2016 to validate the 1st National Action Plan that spanned through January 2017 to June 2019.

“The 1st National Action Plan had 14 commitments that were hinged on Fiscal Transparency, Access to Information, Anti-Corruption and Citizens Engagement.

“Although the journey from 2016 to date has not been very smooth, nevertheless, it gives me great joy to note that in the spirit of collaboration, partnership and co-creation, the 1st NAP was co-created through an effective Multi Stakeholder Forum who equally co-monitored the implementation the commitments with outstanding results and impacts despite the challenges.”

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