FG Inaugurates 22-member Asset Disposal Committee, gives 6 months’ timeline…. ANEEJ Chief Assures on use of GFAR principles

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ABUJA, NIGERIA. November 9, 2020…. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), today, inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the disposal of all assets forfeited to the federal government, just as the Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice and a member of the inter-ministerial committee, Rev David Ugolor, assured that the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) principles will guide the work of the committee .

The minister while inaugurating the 22-member committee said that the initiative was borne out of the president’s directive in October 2018 following recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets and a need for efficient management of the assets. Malami gave the committee 6 months to complete its assignment.

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 Attorney General of the Federation 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. Ensure that information flow on assets are in place.”

“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.

 “It is aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of the federal government’s assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonised and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of this administration,” he said.

Other tasks of the committee are responding to any ongoing Asset Management Audit and the asset performance reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the establishment of the committee on October 27.

The minister added that the members of the committee would be from relevant agencies specialised in the recovery and disposal of Nigeria’s assets while Dayo Apata, Solicitor-General of the Federation, will be the chairperson of the committee and the asset tracing, recovery and management unit.

The minister added that the committee is responsible for the development of its targets in order to measure its performance, and respond to ongoing asset management audit and asset performance reports.

“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 the 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.”

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 and serve as guidelines for the Inter-Ministerial Committee and how best to actualize the quick disposal of the FGN assets in line with Mr President’s directive.

ANEEJ Executive Director and member of the committee, Rev David Ugolor said: “We will ensure that the GFAR principles are applied to ensure transparency and accountability in the work of the committee. Most members of our committee are men and women with rich experience and track record in asset recovery and management and we are determined to meeting the expectations of Mr. President and Nigerians at large.”

Meanwhile, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice and chairman of the committee, Mr. Dayo Akpata, SAN at the inaugural meeting of the committee, said “the mandate of the committee is quite enormous in view of the scope of its terms of reference and the limited timeframe thereto as directed by Mr. President.

“I must also remark that the setting up of this committee is quite germane as a member for achieving inter-agency coordination or synergy in the process of asset recovery and disposal as well as the strengthening or capacity building for our institutions. The committee will birth uniformity and certainty in the asset disposal mechanism by the federal government,” Dayo Akpata, assured.

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