By Andah John with agency report
Nigeria’s Minister of Information has announced that a trial run of electronic asset declaration to facilitate compliance and to search and retrieve data on the assets of public officers would commence in 2017.
Lai Mohammed, who said this in a statement, also disclosed that the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption is working with relevant MDAs, especially the National Bureau of Statistics, to improve data collection on corruption indicators generally.
”Once perfected, the data will be shared with government periodically, if possible as regularly as government receives data on inflation and unemployment trends, to indicate trends in corruption and influence government measures to correct the situation before it gets out of hand as we have now,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
On the Asset Register, he said it has made very difficult the looting of government physical assets, most notably vehicles, by departing political appointees as well as senior and middle level officers.
Mohammed said the recently approved Whistle Blower policy is designed to further enhance government’s effort to recover looted funds.
He noted: ”People who give credible and useful information to government that leads to recovery of stolen public assets will be rewarded with between 2.5% – 5% of the recovered fund and government will keep the identity of the whistle blower absolutely confidential.”
The minster further said government is concluding the constitution of an Asset Tracing Team to work with internationally reputably bodies to trace and recover public assets in private pockets.
”In this regard, government will also escalate the use of non-conviction-based asset recovery methods to boost revenue and diminish corruption and the perception that crime pays or criminals can keep their loot.
”The Federal Government is getting Nigerians in diaspora and international civil society organizations involved in the campaign for return of looted assets,” the Minister added