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FG gives panel six months to dispose forfeited assets

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The Federal Government has given the Committee on Disposal of Forfeited Assets six months to sell off properties in its possession.

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), gave the deadline yesterday during the inauguration of the 22-member panel in Abuja.

Made up of staff of relevant government agencies, the team is chaired by Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN).

Malami said following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive in 2018, his office last year urged the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations to provide legal and administrative framework for investigation, tracing, seizure and disposal of illegally acquired assets and proceeds of crime.

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According to him, the guidelines were to ensure coordination and transparency in the entire process.

The AGF said: “It is my pleasure to note that Mr. President approved the composition of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Forfeited Assets on October 27, 2020 which we are inaugurating today (yesterday).

“The committee has a timeframe of six months for the disposal of all Federal Government forfeited assets.”

He added that the duties of the committee also include implementation of ATRM regulations, striking synergy among the AGF, law-enforcement and anti-corruption agencies, relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the collation of recovered properties.

Others are responses to ongoing asset management audits and prioritsation of service delivery.

The minister stated that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019; Standard Operating Procedures and terms of reference were handy for the panel to speedily execute its job.

He advised: “Your mandate is to ensure the expedient disposal of all FGN forfeited assets and generate revenue for government.

“On this note, I wish to implore the inter-ministerial committee to work as a formidable team with the relevant agencies in accordance with extant laws and regulations.

“It is also my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country.

“I must however warn that the task before the inter-ministerial committee is an enormous one, and must be conducted with utmost dignity, having the interest of Nigeria at heart. Thus, much is expected from the committee.”

Responding, the chairman pledged due diligence and accountability.

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