21 Jul 2015

President Buhari seeks United States’ help to locate and recover $150billion Nigerian loot

During his four-day official visit to the United States of America, President Muhammadu Buhari ask President Barack Obama to help to locate and return $150 billion believed to have been stolen by corrupt officials in the last decade.

Buhari, who met with his US counterpart at the White House monday, made this know in an opinion article published in The Washington Post.
“The fact that I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials is a testament to how badly Nigeria has been run,” he wrote. “This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue.”
Buhari, who took office on May 29 after defeating former President Goodluck Jonathan in March elections, pledged during his campaign to clamp down on graft, including in the oil industry that provides Nigeria with about two-thirds of government revenue and 90 percent of export earnings.

When he received Buhari in the Oval Office monday, Obama expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigerian president’s to handle the challenges facing Nigeria, even as he pledged his country’s readiness to assist Nigeria in its developmental challenges.

He said Buhari had come with a clear agenda to tackle the problems of corruption and insecurity occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram sect as well as other violence criminal activities.

Obama expressed appreciation for Buhari’s leadership style so far, saying that his administration would continue to assist and help Nigeria in overcoming its challenges.

Obama said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome President Buhari and his delegation here in the White House for his first visit since the historic election that took place.

“Nigeria is obviously one of the most important countries in the world, one of the most important countries in the African continent.
 
“Recently we saw an election in which a peaceful transition to a new government took place. Nevertheless, the people of Nigeria understand that only through a peaceful political process that can change take place.

“President Buhari came into office with a reputation for integrity and a very clear agenda, that is to make sure that he brings safely security and peace to his country.

“He is very concerned about the spread and the violence that is taking place there and the atrocities and has a very clear agenda in defeating Boko Haram and extremists.

“And he has a very clear agenda with respect to rooting out the corruption that too often has held back the economic growth and prosperity of his country.

“On both these issues, we’re looking forward to hearing more about his plans and how the United States can partner with Nigeria so that Nigeria ends up being an anchor not only of prosperity and stability in the eastern (sic) part of the (African) continent, but can also be an outstanding role model for developing countries around the world.”
The US president added that his government “very much look forward to talking about security issues, how we can cooperate on counterterrorism. We’re looking forward to discussing how we can be helpful in addressing some of the corruption issues that have held Nigeria back, and unleashing the incredible talent of the Nigerian people”.
Continuing, Obama said: “We all recognise that some of the best businesspeople in the world are from Nigeria, and they thrive as they travel to other countries, but we want to make sure that they’re also helping folks thrive in Nigeria.

“We’re also going to have an opportunity to talk about some of the other areas where Nigeria has taken leadership -- in public health issues, fighting tragedies like Ebola.

“Nigeria has an outstanding track record working with us to eradicate polio, and that gives us a framework and a template to continue to work on public health issues throughout the western part of Africa, as well as throughout the subcontinent.

“We’ll have a chance to talk about issues of climate change, electrification. As many of you know, Power Africa is one of our top priorities, making sure that we’re electrifying the continent so that it can grow faster and more people have access to the power that they need.

“So we’ve got a busy agenda, but I want to emphasise how much I appreciate President Buhari’s work so far.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him put together his team so that we can do everything that we can to help him succeed and help the people of Nigeria succeed.

“Because if they’re successful and doing well, that will have a ripple effect not only in West Africa, but throughout the world.”
Obama stated that his country was willing to stand by Nigeria as long as it remained on course, adding, “Wherever Nigeria goes, Africa goes. The continent’s destiny is tied to Nigeria’s.”

He advised Buhari to combine military action against the Boko Haram insurgency with social and economic programmes, noting that a divided country never succeeds.

“Turn the diversity of Nigeria to source of strength,” Obama said and urged five state governors who accompanied Buhari on the trip to work with the Nigerian president.
Obama also assured Buhari that the US government would continue to partner with Nigeria in ensuring political stability in Africa and around the world.

Credit: ThisDay

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