Godwin Tsa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the sale of all Federal Government Forfeited Assets, within the next six months.
Accordingly, the Attorney General of the Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Monday inaugurated a 22-member Inter-Ministerial Committee for the sale of forfeited assets.
The minister disclosed that members of the committee which has a six months period to complete it’s assignment were drawn from the relevant agencies that deal with the recovery and disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s assets.
Malami noted that the composition of the committee has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari since October 27, 2020.
The minister said the committee, which is headed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), has the core mandate to ensure the expedient disposal of all forfeited assets, to generate revenue for the Federal Government.
Speaking at the ceremony, the AGF, said, “You may recall that pursuant to Mr. President’s directive in October, 2018 following the recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets, there was the need for an effective and efficient management of recovered assets, as an interim measure, pending the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill.
“In compliance with the directives of Mr. President, the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice issued Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 to provide legal and administrative frameworks for the investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of stolen or illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.
The Regulation was drawn from the extant laws of the relevant anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.
“It is aimed at ensuring proper coordination of the disposal of the Federal Government assets and for promoting a uniform, harmonized and transparent procedure to safeguard the assets recovered by the relevant agencies in line with the anti-corruption drive of this administration”.
Members of the committee include representatives from the following:, Office of the Chief of Staff to the President; 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 Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission; Nigerian Army; Nigerian Navy; Nigeria Police; Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; Department of State Security.
Representatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Oil Spillage, Detection and Response Agency; Bureau of Public Procurement; Representatives of the Civil Society Organization; Representative of the Youth; Representative of the Media; and Any other Nigerian with exceptional expertise that could add value to the Committee as deems fit by the Attorney General of the Federation”.
Malami listed the responsibilities of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to inlcude to, “Implement 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; Respond to any ongoing Asset Management Audit and the asset performance reports; 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.
“The Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, the Standard Operating Procedures and Terms of Reference are the working tools to 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 directive