NEITI boss, Adio, goes public with assets declaration
‘Why all public servants should do the same’
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri Adio, yesterday joined the ranks of those who have made public their assets declaration, expressing belief that all public servants should do same.
There has been a raging controversy over whether public servants should make public their assets declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), with those who have not done so maintaining that the law only makes the declaration compulsory.
According to Adio, in a statement yesterday, assets declaration “is a potentially powerful sunshine mechanism that could help, in very practical ways, to limit the incidence of corruption.” But he noted that its potency is “gravely diminished when it is made a secret affair.”
He added that the public, on behalf of which people are elected or appointed to hold public offices, is not given a viable role in the verification of the assets declared and is denied the fundamental right to know.
Adio observed that as the country seeks new beginnings, it needs “to reinsert and reassert the public in this transparency and accountability process by lifting the veil of secrecy from the declared assets of our public officers.” He said until all public officers declare their assets publicly, the impact of the declaration exercise is “successfully neutered.”
The NEITI boss said he released the highlights of his assets declaration in the steps of notable examples, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the late former president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
He gave four reasons for going public. “One: though public declaration of assets is not mandatory, there is nothing in the Constitution or the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act that criminalises or disallows or forbids public officers from publicly disclosing their assets.
“Two: I have stated on record many times that public officials not publicly disclosing their declared assets turn the assets declaration exercise into a hollow ritual.
“Three: I believe, following in the immortal words of Mahatma Ghandi, that we should be the change we seek and, when called upon, we should strive to lead others by leading ourselves first, through the powerful force of personal example.
“And four: as someone appointed to head NEITI, an organisation saddled with the weighty responsibility of promoting transparency and accountability in our extractive sector, I and my colleagues need to demonstrate that we are not protected from the searchlight that we beam on others, that we are not excused from the standards that we hold others to.”
Some of the details of the assets he made public yesterday are as follows:
Cash in Nigerian banks:
• As at 30 March 2016, a total of N3, 810, 206 in accounts with Access Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank for Africa.
• As at 30 March 2016, a total of $821 in domiciliary accounts in Access Bank and UBA.
• One unit of a 3-Bedrooom bungalow in an estate in a suburb of Abuja bought in 2011 at N17.5m, renovated and currently valued at N25m;
• Two units of 3-bedroom flats built over 13 years (between 2000 and 2013) in Lambe, Ogun State, currently valued at N12m.
• Two plots together measuring 1000 sqm demarcated by a dwarf fence in Iwo, my hometown in Osun State, bought in 2013, valued at N700, 000;
• Yet-to-be-located 600 sqm in a disputed estate in Sabon-Lugbe, Abuja bought in 2011 at N750, 000.
Beneficial interests in the following companies that I co-founded:
• Think Tank Consult Limited
• SW4 Media Limited, Publishers of Metropole Magazine
• Elan-Metro Foods Limited
• Cable Newspaper Limited, Publishers of TheCable online newspaper
I also have equity in two non-operational companies:
• Papyrus Media Limited
• Bamisoro Media Limited
• VW Passat bought new in 2011 at N5.8m
• BMW X5 2008 Model bought second hand in February 2016 at N3.3m
• 9 KVA Hyundai Diesel Generator bought at N850, 000
• 3 KVA Sunkam Inverter bought at N450, 000
• Other household furniture, electronics, exercise equipment, artworks and others valued at N3.5m
Shares in Publicly Quoted Companies:
Shares in Skye Bank, Sterling Bank and Staco Insurance presently valued at N296, 610.
Assets of Spouse and Children:
• My wife runs two businesses: a salon and a bakery, with equipment and distribution vehicles all valued at N28.5m.
• We have three children under 18 and they do not own any assets.