Osinbajo laments about the high cost of recovering stolen funds

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  • Says many countries are reluctant to return proceeds of corruption

[Lagos]–Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that preventing corruption is better than curing it as recovering stolen funds is costly.

He made this observation in Lagos at the 5th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity on Thursday.

The lecture was entitled: “Prevention is Better than Cure Even on the Issue of Corruption’’. It was organised by the Integrity Organisation Ltd., an anti-corruption, research and advocacy organisation. Dr Christopher Kolade is a former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

“You need to engage forensic consultants and hire other experts; even then, you will only have some hope of recovering some of what has been lost.

“Many countries are reluctant to return proceeds of corruption by introducing legal obstacles of different kinds to ensure that we do not get back the money. If some of that money went into boosting our reserves, our exchange rate will not be where it is today; so there lies evidence that corruption is cheaper to prevent than to cure,’’ he said.

The acting president said that the negative impact of corruption on human lives and development could never be fully reversible. “In our investigations into Defence spending, we discovered 15 billion dollars unaccounted for, with no guarantee that we will ever be able to recover it. You can imagine the damage done by that corrupt act,’’ he said.

Osinbajo urged Nigerians neither to condone corruption nor celebrate those indulging in it. He said that the Federal Government would continually seek ways to make it harder for government funds to be stolen or diverted.

”President Muhammadu Buhari issued an order mandating immediate compliance to the Treasury Single Account system to simplify government accounting to provide a clear picture of what is coming in and going out. “Another important measure is getting all our armed forces personnel on the electronic human resource payroll to prevent scams in the service,’’ he said.

The acting president described Kolade as an outstanding man in both the public and private sectors.




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