President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to facilitate the faster recovery of Nigeria’s stolen wealth stashed abroad.
A statement issued by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president made the call when he received the Executive Secretary of UNODC, Mr Yury Fedotov, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari said that the process of recovering the stolen assets had “become tedious’’ to the consternation of many Nigerians.
“We are looking for more cooperation from the EU, United States, other countries and international institutions to recover the nation’s stolen assets, particularly proceeds from the stolen crude oil.
“It is taking very long and Nigerians are becoming impatient,” he said.
According to president Buhari, his government has worked very hard in the past 11 months to reverse the very negative global perception of Nigeria on corruption.
“Our genuine efforts to deal with corruption and drugs have earned us international respect and this has encouraged us to do more.
“We know that by fighting the scourge of drugs and corruption and rebuilding trustworthiness, integrity, good business practices, and imposing discipline on youths to avoid drugs, we are not doing a favour to the international community, we are doing a favour to ourselves,” he added.
The president also promised that his administration would work with the UN agency to rehabilitate young Nigerians who had been misled into consumption of illicit drugs and drug trafficking.
In his remarks, Fedotov said that UNODC had chosen Nigerian as a pilot country for support and strategic cooperation in the fight against drugs and corruption.