President Muhammadu Buhari has said handing jail terms to perpetrators of corruption is not enough to rid the country of corruption.
Buhari advocated that the money looted by corrupt individuals should be returned back to the country as jail terms no longer match the “lucrative” nature of corruption.
He spoke in Paris, France on Sunday on the sidelines of the Centenary of Armistice Day where he noted that Nigeria has strengthened its fight against corruption.
“We must crack down on safe havens for corrupt assets. I also advocate sanctions by professional bodies against transactional middlemen (lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials, etc.) who facilitate Illicit Financial Flows,” Buhari added.
“I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption.’’
According to him, “Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.
“A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin.
“This is not to underestimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin.”