The Nigerian government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has announced that it will begin the process of disposing of assets forfeited through the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA).
This was disclosed by the ICPC chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA) earlier this year to commence disposing of forfeited assets through an auction process.
Positive impact on anti-corruption war: Owasanoye said the bill will have a positive impact on the anti-corruption war, describing it as a tool ensuring clarity for asset recovery and management.
He noted that POCA was introduced to improve the management and disposal of forfeited assets, citing the former unregulated structures surrounding forfeited assets leading to revenue losses, as the ICPC also set up a governing directorate and ensured that all processes were executed by professionals to ensure transparency.
“As instructed, all proceeds would be lodged in a dedicated account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and accessible only at the discretion of the National Assembly and the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Whatever is gotten at the end of this exercise, there is a dedicated account under the watchful eyes of the CBN.
“Nobody has the power to transfer or move anything out of that account, except the National Assembly and the president,” he said.
The ICPC also said to provide guidelines and ensure all processes were transparent, it had an asset recovery and management manual and, also in line with POCA, set up a committee comprising board members, directors, representatives of labor, civil society organisations, the media and Bureau of Public Procurement, to administer the bid process.
The bid opening process began with the opening and counting of submitted bids, based on lots, which had been publicly advertised and subjected to stringent terms and conditions.
“There were two lots available, with 58 and 54 bids respectively. Each box was meticulously processed, with records being taken for accepted, returned, and withdrawn bids.
“The opening of technical bids was attended by ICPC board members, Dr. Grace Chinda and Sen. Anthony Agbo, directors, staffers of relevant departments, bidders, and external observers from the Bureau of Public Procurement and a civil society organisation,” he noted.
For the record: Nairametrics reported earlier this year that the federal government recovered the sum of N34.346 billion and US$1.62 million between 2019 and 2021, and also saved the sum of N261 billion for the same period through the ICPC Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Initiative it launched in 2019.Follow us on social media