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Anti-corruption

CoSP10 in Atlanta: Nigeria unites with other state parties to renew commitment to fighting corruption  

Nigeria has united with the rest of the world in the fight against corruption at the tenth session of the Conference of State Parties (CoSP10) in Atlanta by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

Lateef Fagbemi, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice
Lateef Fagbemi, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice

Atlanta, USA

Nigeria has united with the rest of the world in the fight against corruption at the tenth session of the Conference of State Parties (CoSP10) in Atlanta by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

This was contained in a statement by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Wednesday in Atlanta, United States of America (USA).

The statement reads: “The Nigeria Delegation joins over 150 member states for the 10th Conference of States Parties in Atlanta to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

“Led by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation (HAGF) and Minister of Justice, HE Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Nigerian delegation included representatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Police Service Commission, the Nigeria Police Force in addition to the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The statement added that the conference benefitted from a strong showing of Nigerian leading civil society organizations, such as the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISCLAC), PROMAD, the HEDA Resource Center, the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), the Center for Governance, Asset Recovery and Sustainable Development (African Center), the Centre for Fiscal Integrity and Transparency Watch (CeFTIW) amongst others.

The head of the delegation stated that “Nigeria has suffered from the damaging effects of corruption including the loss of billions of dollars to foreign havens, stolen, and expatriated by corrupt leaders and their foreign accomplices including multinational companies. The diversion of such strategic resources continues to challenge Nigeria’s growth and development”.

He added that Nigeria has taken proactive measures to combat corruption, block leakages, and recover stolen assets. In this regard, he mentioned some of the achievements made by Nigeria in the last two decades following a stock-taking exercise embarked on by the government with UNODC support. 

“One such achievement is the adoption of a roadmap for the implementation and deployment of a web-based ‘Beneficial Ownership Register’, encompassing all sectors in the country. Nigeria is also sponsoring a draft follow-up resolution on Beneficial Ownership titled “Enhancing Transparency and the Use of Beneficial Ownership Information to Strengthen Asset Recovery”. 

“Sponsoring a total of six resolutions on the topic of asset recovery, international cooperation and beneficial ownership transparency during the past Conferences of States Parties, Nigeria has significantly contributed to the development of international policy and standards in the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. 

The Attorney-General also highlighted Nigeria’s achievements including the establishment of the Nigerian Open Contracting Portal (NOPOCO) for increased disclosure of procurement information to all stakeholders. 

According to him, the portal will ensure improved transparency and accountability processes in procurement. It will also help enhance active citizen participation for better service delivery and improved ease of doing business.

Fagbemi also outlined some key priorities for Nigeria in the fight against corruption, including criminal justice reform, asset recovery, beneficial ownership transparency, and curbing illicit financial flows.

Speaking at the action series organized by the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) on the sideline of the COSP, the minister also acknowledged the recent return of USD 1 million to Nigeria by the US Government of proceeds of a corruption case involving the former Governor of Bayelsa State, the late Depriye Alamieyeseigha.

He also expressed the willingness of the Nigerian government to cooperate with the French authorities in accelerating the return of an additional USD 150 million of the Abacha loot.

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