The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has said that Nigeria’s inclusion in the Common African Position on Asset Recovery Program has made it impossible for recovered funds to be looted.
The ICPC Spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, disclosed this while featuring on ‘Sunrise Daily’ program aired on Channels Television on Monday.
According to her, CAPA has aided illicit fund tracing and recovery, as well as assisted in placing stringent conditions on how recovered funds are to be spent.
Ogugua said, “Ensuring that recovered funds are not relooted is part of the reason CAPA is important, because it places stringent condition on how these funds are spent.
“When we want to bring back the money, the host countries give very stringent conditions as if they are also taxing you again. Money that was looted from you, they will give you stringent conditions for spending it, and monitor the expenditure.
“A case in point is the Abacha loot, the World Bank gave a very stringent condition but the crux of the matter is that it is our funds.
“In CAPA, we also give them some conditions. If you are keeping money that belongs to our country in your own country, when you are returning, like say $1bn stolen from Nigeria, you should not return $1bn to us; it has stayed with you for 10 years, you should put it in an escrow account so that it will yield interest.
“When you are returning it, you should return it in the real current value but they don’t do that. So, they are giving us conditions which we are abiding by but we need to give them some conditions, that is why there is need for a common African policy.”
She explained that the Africa Union countries under CAPA, committed not to be used as safe haven for illicit funds.
According to her, Nigeria currently accounts for over 20 percent of funds illegally moved out of Africa, stressing that recovering such funds will help national development.
“We are really focusing on illicit financial flows because these funds can help in developing the country, as the nation is currently suffering from lack of funds, looking for loans all over the place whilst if these funds are repatriated, we will use them to develop our countries.”