Britain Pledges To Assist Nigeria To Recover Stolen Funds
The British Government has reaffirmed its commitment to collaborate with Nigeria in its fight against corruption and to also render other technical assistance towards ensuring that Nigeria’s stolen funds are brought back for developmental purposes.
The country’s Minister for Africa, Rt Hon Grant Shapps, made the pledge while speaking at the launching of a 100 Million Pounds Accountability and Governance Programme in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria.
The programme is aimed at fighting corruption and enthroning good governance in Nigeria.
The Minister noted that for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of poverty, unemployment, insecurity, illiteracy among other problems, government at all levels must collectively tackle corruption and ensure accountability and transparency in governance.
Rt Hon Shapps, who is also Head of the Department for International Development (DFID), gave the assurance that the British Government would continue to assist Nigeria with technical support and capacity building of its officials to tackle corruption and fight poverty.
He added that the accountability programme would support Nigeria to build transparent institutions and enhance scrutiny in public expenditure as well as increasing citizens’ awareness in governance.
While stressing the need for strong actions to be meted against corrupt citizens, Rt Hon Grant Shapps stated that corruption in Nigeria also affects the United Kingdom directly, hence the need for both countries to come together strongly and tackle the monster.
He urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take action towards ensuring transparency in the oil and gas sector, developing a realisable budget at all levels, cutting waste and leakage in the public sector and empowering the law enforcement agencies to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, highlighted some of the areas of collaboration with the state which include providing technical and financial assistance in the fight against corruption and developing the education and health sectors, among others.
According to him, where public institutions are weak, corruption is bound to thrive.
High point of the visit was an interaction with over 150 physically challenged persons in Kakuri area of Kaduna State, where the Minister promised that Britain would focus attention in empowering indigent people especially those in rural communities.