Nigeria calls for closure of safe havens for illicit assets
Nigeria has called for the elimination of safe havens for stolen assets and illicit financial flows to free up resources for sustainable development of the affected countries.
The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Bande, at an ‘Interactive Dialogue for Sustainable Development’ at the Economic and Financial Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York.
According to the foreign affairs ministry, Bande also called for the unconditional return of such assets and funds to their countries of origin.
The Nigerian envoy said: “In this regard, it is important that safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad, of stolen assets and illicit financial flows, are eliminated.
“The return of such assets and funds, will certainly aid our ongoing sustainable development efforts”.
He said Nigeria believed that sustainable development demanded the galvanisation of urgent common efforts, a reinvigorated Global Partnership, and an enabling environment at all levels.
He called for the creation of appropriate global partnership for development, balanced against the increased emphasis on domestic resource mobilisation.
Bande noted the concerns expressed in the report of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, particularly in relation to the slow pace of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) progress in Sub-Sahara Africa.
According to him, however, the Government of Nigeria is fully committed to translating the SDGs into reality, in a balanced and integrated manner.
Bande said: “As a show of commitment, the Government of Nigeria has developed a comprehensive multi-layer and multi-cluster national accountability institutional framework for enhanced coordination of SDGs mainstreaming in the country.
“An Inter-Ministerial Committee on the SDGs has also been established and the operational guideline for coordinated engagement of Government intervention programmes has been adopted, at both the national and sub-national levels.
“The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has been empowered to ensure horizontal and vertical coherence of SDGs development policies, plans and strategies in the country.
“To fully harness Nigeria’s rich human and material resources and to more effectively engage other stakeholders, a Private Sector Advisory Group and a Donors’ Forum on the SDGs have recently been inaugurated”.
To enhance the legislative oversight on the SDGs implementation processes, he said two Committees on SDGs had been established in both the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives.
The ambassador explained that the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan aligned, to a large extent, with SDGs targets.
To ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of SDGs implementation in Nigeria, an SDG data mapping exercise was recently concluded and a data supply responsibility framework, agreed upon, he said.
He said Nigeria was currently up-scaling Conditional Grants Scheme, to become one of the best practices in counterpart contributory mechanism that incentivises sub-national governments to accelerate progress in SDGs core targets.
“In line with the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction and the workings of the United Nations International Disaster Reduction, Nigeria has established the National Emergency Management Agency as the focal point for all disaster management efforts of the Government.
“As a practical and pro-active approach to disaster reduction, Nigeria has also established the National Centre for Flood Early Warning Systems.
“The devastating impacts of climate change are increasing, posing fundamental threat for the existence of humanity. Nigeria has since taken steps in integrating and implementing the Paris Agreement.
“We urge States Parties to ensure compliance to the Paris Agreement on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities,” the Nigerian envoy said.