Skip Navigation
Nigeria

Strengthen Asset Recovery Legislation (NG0021)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Nigeria Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Federal Ministry of Justice

Support Institution(s): National Assembly, The Presidency, Anti-Corruption Agencies, National Security Adviser, Law Enforcement Agencies, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Central Bank of Nigeria and National Assembly Committees on Anti-Corruption, Financial Crimes and Public Accounts, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. Publish What You Pay (PWYP), African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), Digital Forensics, African Network for Economic and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ), WANGONET, Association of Bureau de Change, Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN), FENRAD, WANGONeT, Initiative For Leadership Foundation (ILF), SERDEC, Centre for Health Equity and Justice (CEHEJ).

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Capacity Building, E-Government, Legislation & Regulation, Legislative

IRM Review

IRM Report: Nigeria Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Brief description:
This commitment is to strengthen Nigerian laws with regards to assets recovery, especially non-conviction-based confiscation powers and unexplained wealth orders; and ensure proper management of assets and proceeds.

General problem:
1. Absence of a comprehensive legislative framework for the management of asset recovery
2. Poor asset recovery management

Specific OGP issue:
Corruption, Opacity in the utilization and management of public resources

Rationale for the commitment:
Asset recovery is an integral part of anti-corruption work. It requires a good legislative framework and proper management of assets and proceeds. Asset recovery and management is a huge challenge in Nigeria. There were reported cases in the past where recovered assets have not been properly managed leading to “looting of looted funds.” This commitment was made in the first NAP. Progress was made such as submission of the Proceeds of the Crime Bill to the National Assembly. But It has not been passed into law. There is the need to continue with the commitment so as to strengthen the legislative framework and improve the management of assets and proceeds.

Main objective:
To enact legislation that would aid asset recovery and ensure proper and transparent management of assets and proceeds

Anticipated impact:
To deter looting of public resources
Easy asset recovery and management

See action plan for milestone activities

IRM Midterm Status Summary

7. Strengthen Nigeria’s asset recovery legislation

Main Objective

“To enact legislation that would aid asset recovery and ensure proper and transparent management of assets and proceeds.”

Milestones

  1. Federal Ministry of Justice to adopt and deploy guidelines for transparent management of recovered assets pending the enactment of the law
  2. Capacity building for Anti-Corruption Agencies and non-state actors to implement non-conviction-based asset forfeiture regime
  3. Enactment of Proceeds of Crime Act
  4. Deploy a framework for CSO monitoring of the procedure for recovery and utilization of recovered assets
  5. Half-yearly publication of reports of the recovered assets and utilization
  6. Annual assessment of international anti-corruption asset recovery commitments

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Nigeria’s action plan at https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/nigeria-action-plan-2019-2021/

Commitment Analysis

This commitment is continued from Nigeria’s 2017–2019 national action plan and seeks to strengthen the legislative framework on transparent management of recovered stolen assets. It is one of the five components of Nigeria’s National Anti-Corruption Strategy. [108] Some of the commitment’s milestones were already partially implemented under the previous action plan. For example, the Government of Nigeria issued the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations in October 2019, [109] and the President Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) issued guidelines on asset management (Milestone 1). [110] Additionally, the Asset Management Unit and the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) held capacity building workshops on the non-conviction-based asset forfeiture regime with 16 government entities (Milestone 2). However, the key milestone on enacting the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) was not achieved under the previous action plan and has been carried forward.

Under the current action plan, this commitment includes 6 milestones, three of which were not included in the previous action plan (Milestones 4, 5, 6). The activities continued from the previous action plan are a Federal Ministry of Justice framework for the management of recovered assets, capacity building on the non-conviction-based asset forfeiture regime, and enactment of POCA. This commitment’s new milestones are a framework for CSOs’ monitoring and reports of recovered assets and their usage and an assessment of international anti-corruption asset recovery commitments. The commitment does not clarify what the CSO monitoring framework would entail and which organizations would be involved.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information in that it plans to disclose information on recovered assets and their usage. The commitment is also relevant to civic participation, as it entails establishing a CSO framework to monitor the process for recovery and management of stolen assets.

If fully implemented, this commitment could have a transformative potential impact on improving management of recovery of stolen assets, which amount to more than $9 billion USD. [111] According to the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the enactment of POCA, supported by complementary initiatives such as the release of asset recovery information and enhancing oversight mechanisms by CSOs, would be essential for asset recovery efforts. The Nigerian Senate passed POCA in 2015, [112] but enactment has been pending. [113] Existing legislation applicable to the forfeiture of proceeds of crime includes the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act 2006, the EFCC, and the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act. [114] Lack of transparency, reliable data, guidelines on asset recovery management, or a centralized asset recovery management database has hindered the oversight of funds. [115] These issues have been enabled by lack of coordination among anti-corruption agencies. [116] The enactment of POCA could lead to establishing a regulatory agency to manage recovery of assets and could provide clear guidance on the responsibilities and mandates for relevant agencies. [117] Some CSOs believe that establishing this regulatory agency is a critical step [118] given that the current decentralized system for asset management is inefficient, [119] although others place greater weight on strengthening existing agencies. [120]

Asset recovery is a crucial policy area for the fight against corruption in Nigeria. The IRM recommends focusing on the enactment of POCA through concerted political coordination. Capacity building of relevant state institutions has the potential to improve the monitoring of recovered assets.

[108] “NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY -ANEEJ ATAKPU IS PART OF M&E, , ANEEJ, 5 September 2018, in http://www.aneej.org/national-anti-corruption-strategy-aneej-atakpu-is-part-of-me/
[109] Federal Republic of Nigeria. Official Gazette, Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019, Asset Recovery and Management Unit, Government of Nigeria, 29 October 2019, in https://armu.ng/assets/attachments/Asset%20Tracing,%20Recovery%20and%20Management%20Regulations,%202019.pdf; Asset Recovery and Management Unit Website, in https://armu.ng.
[110] “Nigeria, Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Bill: Matters Arising,” BudGIT, 29 July 2019, in https://medium.com/@BudgITng/nigeria-anti-corruption-and-asset-recovery-bill-matters-arising-cd9cd4c35a3e
[111] Alexis Akwagyiram, “Nigeria says it has recovered $9.1 billion in stolen money and assets,” Reuters, 4 June 16.
[112] “Senate Passes Proceeds of Crime Bill,” This Day Live, 21 April 2019, https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2019/04/21/senate-passes-proceeds-of-crime-bill/
[113] Country Review Report of Nigeria. Review by Côte d’Ivoire and Myanmar of the implementation by Nigeria of articles 5-14 and 51-59 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption for the review cycle 2016-2021, UNODC, 9-11 May 2017, in https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/CountryVisitFinalReports/2019_12_16_Nigeria_Final_Country_Report.pdf, p.12.
[114]Country Review Report of Nigeria. Review by Côte d’Ivoire and Myanmar of the implementation by Nigeria of articles 5-14 and 51-59 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption for the review cycle 2016-2021, UNODC, 9-11 May 2017, in https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/CountryVisitFinalReports/2019_12_16_Nigeria_Final_Country_Report.pdf, p.12.
[115] “Nigeria 2018. Overview” Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, in https://cifar.eu/country-profiles/nigeria-2018/; Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Nigeria, “A $100 million question for Nigeria’s asset recovery efforts”, Transparency International, 26 February 2020, in https://voices.transparency.org/a-100-million-question-for-nigerias-asset-recovery-efforts-6fe39e4c33c4; “Nigeria, Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Bill: Matters Arising”, BudGIT, 29 July 2019, in https://medium.com/@BudgITng/nigeria-anti-corruption-and-asset-recovery-bill-matters-arising-cd9cd4c35a3e; “Nigeria 2018. Overview” Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, in https://cifar.eu/country-profiles/nigeria-2018/.
[116] Chinedu Bassey (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre), interview with IRM, 18 June 2020; “Nigeria 2018. Overview” Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, in https://cifar.eu/country-profiles/nigeria-2018/; “Nigeria, Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Bill: Matters Arising”, BudGIT, 29 July 2019, in https://medium.com/@BudgITng/nigeria-anti-corruption-and-asset-recovery-bill-matters-arising-cd9cd4c35a3e.
[117] Chinedu Bassey (Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre), interview with IRM, 18 June 2020; “Asset recovery in Nigeria: the good and the bad,”  Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, 12 September 2018, in https://cifar.eu/nigeria-asset-recovery/
[118] “Nigeria, Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Bill: Matters Arising,” BudGIT, 29 July 2019, in https://medium.com/@BudgITng/nigeria-anti-corruption-and-asset-recovery-bill-matters-arising-cd9cd4c35a3e
[119] Fatima Waziri – Azi, “The Scope of “in Rem” Forfeiture under Nigerian Law: Issues Arising,“ World Journal of Social Sciences, 11 November 2019, in http://www.sciedupress.com/journal/index.php/wjss/article/view/16311, P.8.
[120] FACTSHEET, REVIEW OF RELEVANT INFORMATION ON NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY. OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME BILL, 2017 (SB376), Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC, June 2017, in http://placng.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Observations-on-the-proceeds-of-crime-bill-1.pdf

Commitments

  1. Participatory Budgeting

    NG0015, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  2. Implement Open Contracting and the Open Contracting Data Standard

    NG0016, 2019, Access to Information

  3. Transparent Tax Revenue Reporting

    NG0017, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  4. Open Contracting and Licensing in Extractives

    NG0018, 2019, Access to Information

  5. Implement EITI Standard

    NG0019, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  6. Establish Beneficial Ownership Registry

    NG0020, 2019, Access to Information

  7. Strengthen Asset Recovery Legislation

    NG0021, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  8. Implement National Anti-Corruption Strategy

    NG0022, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  9. Improve Compliance with Freedom of Information Act with Focus on Records Management

    NG0023, 2019, Access to Information

  10. Improved Compliance with Mandatory Publication Provisions Requirement (FOIA)

    NG0024, 2019, Access to Information

  11. Implement Permanent Dialogue Mechanism

    NG0025, 2019, Dispute Resolution & Legal Assistance

  12. Aggregate Citizens' Feedback on Programs

    NG0026, 2019, E-Government

  13. Freedom of Association, Assembly, and Expression

    NG0027, 2019, Civic Space

  14. Enhance Participation of the Vulnerable

    NG0028, 2019, Capacity Building

  15. Implement New Computer Program in 6 Government Ministries to Improve Service Delivery

    NG0029, 2019, Capacity Building

  16. Legal Instrument to Strengthen SERVICOM

    NG0030, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Citizen Participation in Budget Cycle

    NG0001, 2017, Access to Information

  18. Open Contracting

    NG0002, 2017, Access to Information

  19. Extractive Sector Transparency

    NG0003, 2017, Access to Information

  20. Tax Reporting Standards

    NG0004, 2017, Fiscal Openness

  21. World Bank Doing Business Index

    NG0005, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  22. Beneficial Ownership Register

    NG0006, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  23. Anti-Corruption Informationi Sharing

    NG0007, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  24. Asset Recovery Legislation

    NG0008, 2017, Capacity Building

  25. Anti-Corruption Activity Coordination

    NG0009, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  26. FOIA Compliance for Annual Reporting

    NG0010, 2017, Access to Information

  27. FOIA Compliance for Disclosure

    NG0011, 2017, Access to Information

  28. Permanent Dialogue Mechanism

    NG0012, 2017, Fiscal Openness

  29. Joint Governmnet-Civil Society Legislation Review

    NG0013, 2017, Fiscal Openness

  30. Technology-Based Citizens' Feedback

    NG0014, 2017, E-Government

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!