FG sets up new anti-graft agency

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FEDERAL government has announced the establishment of a new anti-corruption agency. The agency named ‘Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency,’ was disclosed yesterday during the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

Already the council has approved transmission of its bill to the National Assembly.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the FEC virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to Malami, once the bill becomes law and the agency is established, it would see to proper documentation and management of such recovered assets and thereby guarantee transparency and accountability.

“The Federal Ministry of Justice presented to council a memo today (Wednesday). The memo is about a bill which seeks the approval of the council to transmit to the National Assembly for passage. It is the Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Bill. It is in essence a bill that is targeted and intended to have in place a legal and institutional framework. The legal component of it is having a law. And the institutional component of it is to have an agency that will be saddled with the responsibility of managing the assets that constitute the proceeds of crime in Nigeria. What happens before now is the proceeds of crime are scattered all over, and mostly in the hands of different and multiple agencies of government inclusive of the police, the DSS (Department of State Service), EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission). So, with that kind of arrangement which is ad-hoc, there is no agency of government that is saddled with the responsibility of data generation, an agency that can give you off-hand the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeiture,” he said.

Also speaking, Federal Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed said from the report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigerian economy was doing better than expected.

According to Ahmed, measures were being put in place to stabilise the economy and ensure that it continues to run despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We presented a memo to the council in respect of the second-quarter GDP report, earlier released by the National Bureau of Statistics on the 24th of August. Why the memo is so dated is because there was a retreat last week and we couldn’t get scheduled as well. Still, for us, the information is important and topical. The GDP report shows that the economy went into negative growth of -6.10 per cent in the second quatre but that aggregate performance for half the year 2020 is -2.1percent,” she said.

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