President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday urged the international community to urgently create anti-corruption infrastructure and a strategic action plan to facilitate the speedy recovery and repatriation of stolen funds hidden in secret bank accounts abroad.
Speaking at the opening of the Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, in London, Buhari said that new measures against corruption that will be adopted by the summit should also include mechanisms that will assist countries like Nigeria to combat illegal activities such as crude oil theft to which, he said, Nigeria loses about $7 Billion annually.
“When it comes tackling corruption, the international community has unfortunately looked away for too long. We need to step up and tackle this evil together. That is why we have gathered here today.
“Corruption creates a system where resources are shared by a small elite while the majority wallows in poverty. Corruption also undermines the ability of countries to finance development.
“I recall in this regard, the landmark Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the 3rd International Conference on Finance for Development held in January this year.
“A prominent feature of that global framework is the recognition that good governance and measures to combat corruption and curb illicit financial flows will be integral to the effort to attain sustainable development globally by the year 2050.
“It is for this reason that my Government is determined to address illicit financial outflows which have served as a major impediment to progress in our country.
“I wish to reiterate our demand that the global community must come up with mechanisms for dismantling safe havens for stolen funds and facilitate the return of stolen assets to their countries of origin,” President Buhari said.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Prime Minister Cameron applauded President Buhari’s vigorous efforts to curb corruption in Nigeria.
Other speakers at the opening session included the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim and the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry.