Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)
Wants stolen funds repatriated to Africa
Tobi Soniyi in Abujaâ€¨
The Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has called on the international community to develop appropriate mechanism to dismantle safe havens and ensure repatriation of stolen funds and assets to the countries of origin as mandated in the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption and Transnational Organised Crime.
Speaking at the ongoing third United Nations conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Osibajo said that the new leadership in Nigeria was committed to the fight against corruption.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, Osinbajo identified corruption as a major impediment to development, and underscored the need for the global community to adopt concerted efforts against corruption.
While emphasising the imperative for the international community to help Africa stop and track illicit financial flows, he called for support to Africa in repatriating such stolen funds.
He said: “This conference must come up with a mechanism for dismantling safe havens and the return of stolen funds and assets to the countries of origin as mandated in the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption and Transnational Organised Crime.”
Continuing, he disclosed that Nigeria welcomes the report of the African Union High-level panel on illicit financial flow from Africa and called on the international community to assist Africa “stop, track and repatriate illicit funds.”
He called on global leaders, experts and the international community to pay attention to the plight of the poor across the world.
Osinbajo recalled that during the last global financial crisis, nations and governments worked out a solution to take care of the situation.
He said: “If we can bail out the rich, why not bail out the poor who have neither voice nor representation.”
The vice-president threw a strong challenge to the global leaders gathered at the conference at the Ethiopian capital from around the world including the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
He challenged the global community to develop and implement unconventional social safety nets to address the scourge of poverty, hunger, disease and misery.
He announced that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is “committed to setting appropriate spending targets on social services to address poverty, hunger, inequality and unemployment, particularly among the youths.”
He asked the international community to develop a viable mechanism to deal with the scourge of terrorism.
According to him, the phenomenon of global terrorism constitutes a potent threat to peace, stability and economic development of countries worldwide.
The threat, he emphasised, called for adequate funding, partnership and collaboration of the global community to combat terrorism, extremism and insurgency.
“We must take parallel action to intensify efforts towards blocking all sources of funding for terrorist activities,” he added.
On the role of education and the exchange of knowledge to support dissemination of technologies for development, the Vice President called for the establishment of a Global Fund for Educational Development, GFED, on the same scale as the UN Global Fund to Fight AIDS and other major diseases.
Such a fund which he said should support universal free and quality primary education especially in developing countries, will according to him “make a difference in our world in the next fifteen years. It should replicate the successes registered by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
Underscoring the importance of expediting action on access to and exchange of knowledge and technology for nurturing a productive population and for developmental purpose, Prof. Osinbajo called on the conference to consider the establishment of a ‘Global Fund for Educational Development’. He expressed belief that such a fund should replicate the successes recorded under similar initiatives such as the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria.
Earlier, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon while delivering his opening address to delegates said the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda would be a critical step towards sustainable development and the beginning of a new era of cooperation and global partnership. He noted that the Action Agenda as an ambitious financing framework has the capacity to put the world on the right path to implement the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals.