New York—The Federal government has renewed calls for the international community to ensure the return of stolen funds and assets illicitly stashed abroad in order for the country to utilise it for development purposes.
Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, made the call at a seminar on Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Assets Recovery in New York.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seminar, the third in a series, was organised by the Permanent Missions of Nigeria and Norway to the UN.
Muhammad-Bande aptly linked the realisation of sustainable development to combating illicit financial flows and called on member states to scale up cooperation in this aspect.
The Nigerian envoy, therefore, challenged the global community to stop, track, and get the illicit assets returned for their judicious use by the federal government.
He said: “The significance of the subject under consideration is that there is still a lot more to know and to do in achieving our aim as members of the international community in this important matter.
“The global community is focusing on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“However, without addressing the issues of illicit financial flows and assets recovery, our collective aspiration to harness domestic resources to finance the sustainable development goals will remain a dream for many countries, especially the developing world.”
“The realisation of the organic link between combating illicit financial flows and strengthening assets recovery, and achieving our ambitious 2030 Agenda informed the discourse today: “Illicit Financial Flows: Stop It, Track It, Get It and Use It.’’
The Nigerian envoy noted that the seminar came less than two weeks after the missions held the second edition of the advocacy and awareness seminar recently.
The Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, Geir Pederson, agreed with his Nigerian colleague that stolen wealth from countries of origin was contributing to underdevelopment.