From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
The British Government has declared that it has no desire to keep Nigeria’s stolen money kept in the U.K by some corrupt public officials. It however said the processes of recovering the stolen funds were time consuming and complicated.
British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at a forum organised by the management of Royal FM in Ilorin, Kwara State. She was in the state in continuation of her familiarization tour of some parts of Nigeria.
While responding to questions from journalists on whether Nigeria still has hope of recovering the loots, she said the funds were still stuck in Britain because all the legal documents required have not been completed.
‘‘There is more than hope, it will happen, the question is question of time and the reason for that is because these are very complicated legal processes, what will have to happen for the money to be returned; all the legal documents must be gathered and be put in place and we have to make sure that all the money goes back and goes back to the right place. This process can be time consuming and complicated and sometimes there are also hiccups on the way .I think my message to you is the following:
‘‘First of all, we are committed to return that money, there is no desire to keep that money, we can’t access it even if we want to and I expect that you will see some infrastructure flow back in the next few years’’, the envoy said .
‘‘I think there is now more discomfort with corruption, there is latent corruption, may be not systematically, I am not saying we have eradicated it but I do think we are on the right trajectory and I think is important we recognise that’’, the envoy said.
Speaking on the International Day of the Girl Child, the British envoy called for more ‘‘investment in girls and women ’’.
‘‘I think we should continue to invest more in girls and women and to recognise that as it stands they face more challenges and have few opportunities than boys’’, she said.
She identified lack of access to quality education, sexual violence, lack of access to property and finance as some of the issues confronting the girl child in Nigeria which needed to be addressed.