- The Nigerian anti-graft agency, ICPC, has said the country would not need to take loans if the funds looted and taken out of the country are returned
- Azuka Ogugua who is the spokesperson of the agency also called for a common African policy on the recovery of stolen funds
- The ICPC spokesperson said stolen funds are also supposed to be repatriated with the interests they have yielded over the years
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria won’t need external loans if stolen monies stashed away in foreign banks by corrupt politicians and heads of state are repatriated.
The spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, Azuka Ogugua, stated this on Monday, July 12, in Abuja while speaking on the occasion of the 2021 African Union Anti-Corruption Day marked every July 11, The Punch reported.
The newspaper claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been grappling with funds and has incurred over N20.8tn debt since it came into power in May 2015, citing data by the Debt Management Office.
Speaking as a guest on Channels TV, the ICPC spokesperson said there was a need for a common African policy on repatriation of stolen funds from the African continent.
Ogugua said the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPA) which Nigeria is a signatory to has been helpful in tracing and recovering looted funds outside Africa.
“When we want to bring back the money, the host countries give very stringent conditions as if they are also taxing you again. Money that was looted from you, they will give you stringent conditions for spending it, and monitor the expenditure.
“A case in point is the Abacha loot, the World Bank gave a very stringent condition but the crux of the matter is that it is our funds.”
Return looted funds with interest
Under CAPA, the ICPC spokesperson said foreign countries where looted funds were sent to are also now being given some conditions.
Rather than returning the original value of the loots, Ogugua said the foreign countries should be sending the loots with the interests that have accumulated over the years.
“In CAPA, we also give them some conditions – if you are keeping money that belongs to our country in your own country, when you are returning, like say $1bn stolen from Nigeria, you should not return $1bn to us; it has stayed with you for 10 years, you should put it in an escrow account so that it will yield interest.
“When you are returning it, you should return it in the real current value but they don’t do that. So, they are giving us conditions which we are abiding by but we need to give them some conditions, that is why there is need for a common African policy.”
Publish assets of public servants, ICPC tells CCB
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the ICPC called for the publication of assets declared by the public and civil servants by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The anti-graft agency said this would help in curbing corruption and corrupt practices in the public sector.
Ogugua, the commission’s spokesperson, in a statement sent to Legit.ng, quoted the chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, as stating this during a meeting with the chairman and board members of the CCB.