Corruption: What Nigerian govt discussed with UK High Commissioner

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), on Tuesday, called for support from the British Government to build the capacities of anti-corruption institutions in Nigeria.

NAN reports that Mustapha made the call in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Catriona Laing and the Director for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK, Ms Harriet Mathews.

He said that fighting corruption without putting up measures to prevent the scourge would not yield the expected results.

‘‘We believe that if the institutions are strong and have adequate capacities, they will be able to work efficiently and effectively to prevent corrupt practices.

‘‘We will record substantial success if we deal with corruption from the roots by preventing it from happening,” he said.

The SGF called for support from the British Government in the repatriation of the looted funds from Nigeria.

He said that most of the funds were laundered and kept in banks outside the shores of Nigeria, adding that the funds would have been tracked if they were available in the country.

Mustapha advocated for the flexibility of British laws to allow for easy flow of capital from its government and financial institutions into Nigeria.

He said Nigeria became a friend of China in terms of its infrastructure being executed with resources from China because the Chinese gave long-term credits at fairly reduced interest rates.

‘‘The institutions in the UK still run commercial lending which Nigerian economy cannot absorb.

‘‘We believe that the way your country may be able to redeem some of its lost relationship is to make its laws flexible to allow easy flow of capital to Nigeria,” he added.

Laing said that the visit was to identify areas of partnership with the incoming Federal Government, as well as to explore areas the British government would continue to support the government.

She said that the reaffirmation of the Federal Government to continue to fight corruption, provide security and diversify the economy was a welcome development.

She pledged the commitment of the British Government to continue to support Nigeria to ensure that its areas of priority were achieved to sustain the long-term relationship between the two countries.