President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the United Nations to put pressure on western countries to return stolen funds kept in their banks.
Buhari said this while speaking at the high level meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said when developing nations are deprived of such funds, it becomes difficult for them to meet their needs.
Buhari noted further that “illicit financial assets stashed abroad deprive developing countries including Nigeria, and invariably deny people the enjoyment of their national wealth and resources needed for development.”
He cautioned that non-repatriation of illicit financial assets could impinge on the determination of states to achieve an all-inclusive 2030 sustainable development.
The President therefore called on the UN to “remain vocal and active in addressing the negative impact of non-repatriation of illicit financial assets on their countries of origin,” adding that “as soon as stolen assets are legally established, they should swiftly be repatriated.”
He explained that his administration was fighting the scourge of corruption headlong because it contributes to the denial of the resources required for development.
The President, while welcoming the commemoration of three decades of the Declaration on the Right to Development, which he observed, coincides with the first anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said “it reminds us all of the essence of development and provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm commitments to converting this right into the policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels.”
He said as a developing country, Nigeria considers the right to development an inalienable right of fundamental importance, stressing that at the national level, his administration had been making strenuous efforts to ensure that the right to development is at the centre of all development initiatives.