Thursday, 21 January 2016

Assets to declare: Another boost for Nigeria’s anti-corruption war to Army chiefs

Another boost for Nigeria’s anti-corruption war as Army chief orders all officers to declare assets

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has directed all officers of the Nigerian Army who have not declared their assets to do so immediately, the Nigerian Army said in a statement Thursday.


The spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, quoted Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, as giving the directive Wednesday during a conference with principal staff officers and Directors serving at the Army Headquarters.

“It is to be noted that the Chief of Army Staff has done so (declaring his assets) soon on his appointment as Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force in May 2015 and also on his appointment as Chief of Army Staff in July 2015,” Mr. Usman said in the statement.

“Copies of both are with the Code of Conduct Bureau.”

The statement said the directive became necessary “considering the fact that all military officers are having presidential commission and are public servants, as well as subject to both civil and military laws.”

“In addition, given the current drive of the country for probity and accountability, the Nigerian Army should not only key in but should be one of the key drivers for such laudable project,” the statement added.

Earlier on January 15, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hammed Ali, had directed all officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service to declare their assets within 14 days.

A circular signed by the comptroller-general and addressed to all deputy comptrollers-general, zonal coordinators and customs area controllers said the new measure was aimed at ensuring transparency and compliance with the rule of law.

According to the circular, the directive was in compliance with “the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act Cap B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

The circular said although the act provides for asset declaration by all bank employees, it also empowers the president to extend its application to other categories of persons.

“Specifically, Section 12 (1) states that “The provision of this act shall apply to the comptroller-general, deputy comptroller-general, assistant comptroller-general, chief collector, principal collector and other officer, staff or employee of the Nigeria Customs Service as it applies to a chief executive or an employee of a bank,” said the circular.

The comptroller-general observed that many officers had not complied with the provisions of the act over the years, stating that the 14-day ultimatum for compliance would be strictly enforced.