The federal government is looking to freeze assets o Of graft suspects with total value of N595,409,838,452.25 as President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed an executive order to freeze assets of individuals with corruption cases.
Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 “on the Preservation of Assets connected with serious corruption and other relevant offences” was signed at a short ceremony in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Buhari, there is a very strong link between corruption and peace and security of the country. “Whilst there are many reasons why Nigeria has been struggling; regrettably, the most unfortunate cause of great disparity between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is endemic corruption.
“There is also a very strong link between corruption, peace and security. Unfortunately, corruption is everywhere; at all levels of government, and every stratum of our society. Without doubt, corruption constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the well-being, national security, and economy of Nigeria.
“Mindful of this serious challenge, as you are all aware, before coming into government, this administration specifically promised Nigerians that it will address the challenges facing our nation in the three areas of security, economy and corruption.
”As a government, and in furtherance of our anti-corruption programme, we have since inception engaged in multi-sectoral reforms on anti-corruption including the enforcement of Treasury Single Account (TSA), strict implementation of the Bank Verification Number Policy, Signing of the Open Government Partnership, and a lot of efforts have gone into building and development of our anti-corruption institutions, among others.”
According to Buhari, his administration has so far kept faith with the promise and will remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over corruption, attains a prosperous economic status and surmounts all her security challenges.
Buhari said if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will sooner-or later kill Nigeria.
“Therefore, after three years in office, it is an opportune time to further review our achievements against set goals and, where necessary, re-appraise our strategy in order to achieve our outstanding objectives.
“As this real battle continues, we still need to strengthen our policies and institutions in order to successfully fight corruption. We recognise that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any means that facilitates corruption and supports its growth.
“From available records, the aggregate value of funds involved in some on-going prosecution of high profile corruption related cases stands at N595,409,838,452.25k. This amount is in excess of the N500 billion approved for Social Investment Programme in the 2018 Budget, which sum would be applied to cater for home grown school feeding programme, government economic empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, Conditional Cash Transfers, etc. Cumulatively, scores of millions of Nigerian citizens would benefit from those programmes,” Buhari stated.