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FG signs MoU to enhance return of assets stashed in Switzerland

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President Muhammadu Buhari<br />

President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria, the Swiss Federal Council and the International Development Association to facilitate the return of illegally acquired assets to the country.

The President said the return of the illegal assets would not only boost his administration’s anti-corruption drive, but also provide additional funds for critical infrastructure.

President Buhari, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday said the MoU which came following the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), will aid the restitution of the assets confiscated by Switzerland to Nigeria through a Return, Monitoring and Management arrangement.

The President also signed the Instrument of Ratification of the agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Republic of Singapore for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains.

He said with the execution of these instruments, Nigeria’s trade relations with Singapore and income therefrom are expected to rise.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami in December 2017 gave indication that the government of Switzerland was set to return in tranches the sum of $321m stolen from Nigeria and stashed in the European nation by the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and his family.

A statement by the AGF’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, stated that the development followed a tripartite MoU signed by Nigeria along with Switzerland and the World Bank in the United States of America on Monday.

According to Isah, Malami, on behalf of Nigeria, signed the MoU alongside representatives of Switzerland and World Bank at the ongoing Global Forum on Asset Recovery in the U.S.

Isah said the Director of the Directorate of International Law and head of the Swiss delegation to the GFAR, Roberto Balzaretti, signed on behalf of the government of Switzerland, while the Country Director of the World Bank office in Abuja, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, signed on behalf the World Bank.


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