… while AGF inaugurates the Interministerial Committee of 22 members
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the disposal of all forfeited assets from the federal government within the next six months.
To this end, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, inaugurated a 22-member Interministerial Committee on Monday to take on the task.
Malami revealed that President Buhari approved the composition of the Committee that is headed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, SAN, since October 27.
He said that the main mandate of the Committee was to ensure the prompt disposition of all forfeited assets, to generate revenue for the Federal Government.
According to the AGF, “You may recall that in accordance with Mr. President’s October 2018 directive, following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, there was a need for effective and efficient management of the Assets recovered, as an interim measure, pending approval of the proceeds of crime bill.
“In compliance with the directives of the President, the Honorable Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued the Regulation of Tracking, Recovery and Management of Assets, 2019 to provide the legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposition of assets stolen or illegally acquired and of the proceeds of crime.
“The Regulation was based on the laws in force of the relevant police and anti-corruption agencies.
“Its objective is to ensure adequate coordination of the disposal of Federal Government assets and promote a uniform, harmonized and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the competent bodies in line with the anti-corruption drive of this administration.”
Malami noted that the Committee has a six-month period for the disposal of all forfeited assets, noting that its members come from the relevant agencies that deal with the recovery and disposal of assets of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He said: “Although the Attorney General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN will be the Chairman of the Committee, the Unit for Tracking, Recovery and Management of Assets dependent on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice will act as Secretary of the Committee.
“Twenty-two members of the Committee shall include, but are not limited to, representatives of the following:, Office of the President’s Chief of Staff; Federal Ministry of Justice; Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Auditor General of the Federation; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices (and other crimes); Nigerian Army; Nigerian Navy; Nigeria Police; Nigerian Civil Defense Security Corps; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency; Department of State Security.
“National Agency for the Fight against Drugs; Petroleum Resources Department; National Agency for Response, Detection and Oil Spill; Public Procurement Office; Representatives of the Civil Society Organization; Representative of the Youth; Representative of the media; and any other Nigerian with exceptional experience who can add value to the Committee as the Attorney General of the Federation deems appropriate ”.
He said that the responsibilities of the Interministerial Committee would include: “Implementing the provisions of the ATRM Regulation; Ensure the transparency of the disposition of the Final Assets Confiscated from the Federal Government; Ensure synergy and collaboration between the Federal Attorney General and the 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.
“Ensuring the flow of asset information is in place; Respond to any ongoing asset management audits and asset performance reports; Constantly implement enablers and controls that support decision-making and service delivery efficiency that govern asset disposition; and Development of goals for the Committee to measure its performance.
“The 2019 Asset Tracking, Recovery and Management Regulations, the Standard Operating Procedures and the Terms of Reference are the working tools that serve as guidelines for the Interministerial Committee and the best way to update the rapid disposition of FGN assets according to Mr. Chairman.
“Its mandate is to ensure the speedy disposal of all forfeited FGN Assets and generate revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Accordingly, I wish to request the cooperation of all the members of this Interministerial Committee in this regard.
In this note, I wish to implore the Interministerial Committee to work as a formidable team with the relevant agencies in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.
“I also hope that this year’s earnings will be a source of additional income for the country.
“However, I must warn that the task before the Inter-Ministerial Committee is enormous and must be carried out with the utmost dignity with the interests of Nigeria in mind.
“Therefore, much is expected of the Committee.
“Therefore, I wish the Committee all the best and the guidance and protection of the Almighty in discharging this responsibility,” added Malami.