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Nigeria’s Loots: Recovery Process Complicated, Says British Govt

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The British government has declared that it had no intention  to keep Nigeria’s stolen money stuck in United Kingdom banks  by some corrupt public officials.

It however said the processes of recovering the stuck funds were time consuming and complicated.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils, disclosed this to reporters on Friday at a forum organised by the management of the privately owned radio station,  Royal Fm in Ilorin, Kwara State 

Beaufils was in the state in continuation of her familiarisation tour to some parts of Nigeria.

While responding to question from journalists on whether Nigeria still had hope of recovering the loots, she said the funds were still stuck in Britain because all the legal documents required had not been completed.

She stated that, ‘‘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 to 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 quite time consuming and complicated and sometimes there is 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’.’ 

Speaking further, Beaufils expressed delight with the country’s anti-graft agencies particularly the Economic and Finical Crimes Commission (EFCC) in prosecuting the nation’s anti-corruption war which according to her, was already yielding desired dividends.

 The Deputy High Commissioner particularly applauded the treasury single account initiative and whistle blowing policy introduced by the federal government to fight corruption describing them as ‘‘good initiatives’’. 

“I think there is now more discomfort with corruption, there is latent corruption, may be not systematic, I am not saying we have eradicated it but I do think we are on the right trajectory and I think it is important we recognised that’,’ the envoy said.

Speaking on the International Day of the Girl Child, the British envoy called for more ‘‘investment in girls and women, adding, ‘‘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 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.

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