President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated a three-man Audit Committee on Recoveries made by the federal government and vowed never to allow wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds to private pockets.
Inaugurating members of the committee at the First Lady Conference hall in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said the committee had become imperative in view of the fact that the recoveries made so far needed to be accounted for.
He said that the committee would also ensure that the recoveries were managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner.
“In the course of implementing this exercise and given the number of agencies who are concurrently pursuing specialized initiatives and making recoveries for government, it has become obvious that fundamental gaps still exist in ensuring that the recovered assets are accounted for and managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner.
“It was in realization of this and due to our determination to ensure that in pursuing the anti-graft war, we do not create new room for dishonorable conduct by any individual or agency that I directed, earlier in the year, that all agencies should send in detailed reports of all their recovered assets as at March 2017.
“The decision to inaugurate this Audit Committee on the Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets within and Outside Nigeria today is therefore the next step in ensuring that all returns filed by the various agencies are accurate and consistent with actual recoveries made.”
He, therefore, directed all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as banks and companies to cooperate with the committee to enable it performed its duties diligently.
“I hereby direct and request all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Banks, and Companies to give the Committee full cooperation as your assignment is crucial not only to the harvesting of needed resources for our national development but also in setting out a fresh template of public accountability.
“Where it becomes necessary, the Committee will of course rely on existing laws to compel the production of information and will also have the benefit of necessary interventions by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in obtaining such information through legal processes, where so required.”
The President noted with delight that recovered assets were progressively being returned to designated accounts by the anti-graft agencies and other agencies involved in the process.
The membership of the three-man committee include Olufemi Lijadu, Mrs Gloria Bibigha and Alhaji Muhammed Nani.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the First Lady Conference hall was being used for the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) following a faulty sound system identified at the Council Chamber.