The federal government on Monday gave a six-month timeline to its Committee on Disposal of Forfeited Assets to dispose of all forfeited assets to the government.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), announced the timeline at the inauguration of the 22-member committee in Abuja.
The committee drawn from relevant agencies involved in various recoveries of looted assets of the federal government is chaired by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN).
Speaking at the occasion, Malami said following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018, his office had in 2019, issued the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, “to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime”.
He said the regulation is aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of the federal government assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonized and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of the current administration.
“It is my pleasure to note that Mr. President approved the composition of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria Forfeited Assets on October 27, 2020 which we are inaugurating today. The committee has a time frame of six (6) months for the disposal of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets,” he said.
According to the minister, the responsibilities of the Inter-Ministerial Committee include implementation of provisions of the ATRM regulations; ensure the transparency of the disposal of federal government final forfeited assets; ensure the synergy and collaboration between the AGF and Minister of Justice and law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies, other relevant ministries, departments and agencies and the non-governmental organization in the collation of records of all assets; and ensure that information flow on assets are in place.
Other tasks of the committee include responding to any ongoing asset management audit and the asset performance reports; consistently implement enablers and controls that support decision making and efficiency of service delivery which govern the disposal of assets; and development of targets for the committee in order to measure its performance.
Malami however stated that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, the Standard Operating Procedures and Terms of Reference shall be the working tools to serve as guidelines for the inter-ministerial committee and how best to actualize the quick disposal of the FGN assets in line with the president’s directive.
“Your mandate is to ensure the expedient disposal of all FGN forfeited assets and generate revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria. Accordingly, I wish to solicit the cooperation of all members of this inter-ministerial committee in that respect.
On this note, 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,” the AGF noted.
Responding, the chairman of the committee assured the minister of due diligence in the discharge of the committee’s duties, adding that the committee will be guided by the principle of transparency and accountability.