Stolen Funds: Group Tasks FG On Restitution | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Stolen Funds: Group Tasks FG On Restitution

Posted: Jun 22, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor, Lagos

The number of corrupt public officials is so overwhelming that Nigeria will not have enough prisons to keep them if government decides to hurl them into jail. Instead, government should put machinery in place whereby people can voluntarily return stolen funds as a kind of restitution.

National Chairman of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam stated this at the weekend, when Maritime Media Advocates (MARMA), a best practice advocacy group, paid him a courtesy visit, weekend at the NAGAFF Headquarters, Lagos.

He said there should be restitution for all public office holders who have stolen public funds in the past. This is because, the government would need all the money it can get to rescue the country from current economic downturn foisted by wanton looting of public funds and general mismanagement by previous administrations in the country.

Nigeria is facing serious economic crises following the fall in oil prices in 2014 from around $100 to below $60. This was heightened by the devaluation of the Naira in the twilight of 2014 and a dwindling foreign reserve that dip from $40 billion to less than $28 billion as at May 2015.

More than 18 states out of 36 have not been able to pay salaries of civil servants for up to seven months, eliciting widespread call for slash in salaries of political appointees.

“People should voluntarily return stolen money, government need money and it should put such machinery in place for restitution. But if they refuse to come out voluntarily, then, government can take the next line of action,” Aniebonam said.

Aniebonam, who is also the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), said Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari and not the All People’s Congress (APC) at the last election because they believe he has qualities to save the country from decadence of corruption and has the will power to uphold the rule of law.

He noted that the biggest problem of Nigeria is the unwillingness of people to simply obey rule of law, a situation that lets impunity thrive.