From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Federal Government has asked the United States government to step up its assistance in ensuring that corrupt officials don’t get a safe haven abroad for their loot.
He said the cooperation has yielded already positive results We have worked quite closely with the US government on repatriation of funds, we have seen some results’’, adding that the Federal Government is hoping for more improvement in the process.
He made the disclosure at a meeting with US Congressional Delegation led by Senator Christopher Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, at the Presidential Villa.
He started that both countries were working on a prompt repatriation of the funds.
Osinbajo said: “we have reached out to the US government with respect with helping with repatriation of proceeds of crime and proceeds of corruption,” adding that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration regarded “corruption is an existential threat” that must be dealt with at its root.
“We have worked quite closely with the US government on repatriation of funds, we have seen some results.
“We think that this is very important because what tends to happen with corrupt public officials is that if they are able to find a safe haven for the proceeds of their criminality, not only are they encouraged as individuals but there is the general feeling that if I am able to get the proceeds out of the country I might just get away with it,” he said.
Osinbajo added that, “this is one of the reasons why we have taken several actions to ensure that we are able to deal with it because some of the major dislocations in the economy are on account of the problems that we have seen with corruption.”
He said the present administration’s strategy is one of “the most effective ways of fighting corruption is ensuring that these proceeds are unsafe and for people to know that they would be found out and they would be punished for it and we would seize whatever profit they had gain.’’
On the return of the Chibok girls, the Vice President said, “it is a front burner issue for us all the time, there is no question of not continuing to negotiate and looking for the girls.’’