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What we are doing to repatriate stolen funds – UNGA President


President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Professor Tijani Muhammad-Bande, says the repatriation of stolen assets to their countries of origin is one of the issues the assembly is taking seriously.

He made the disclosure on Thursday when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Muhammad-Bande, who was the nation’s Permanent Representative to the UN before his election, briefed State House correspondents shortly after he met with the President.

He said, “The fight against corruption has really taken traction under the leadership of Nigeria at the United Nations.

“The discussion concerning combatting illegal financial flows and the fight to return assets to countries of origin has been led effectively by Nigeria with the support of many countries, especially Norway.”

The UNGA President explained that his presidency would deal transparently with issues and will stay focused on solving the challenge of poverty and climate change among others.

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Muhammad-Bande who said he was at the Villa to brief the President on the directions to be taken, commended his efforts at combating corruption.

According to him, the challenges of quality education would be raised annually by all 193 countries at the UN, to advance a more permanent solution to the problems.

He, however, affirmed that the UNGA presidency would not be exclusive to Nigeria alone and vowed to create harmony within the assembly.

“We are focused on the presidency on poverty eradication because poverty is a compound affliction. If we are able to eliminate poverty, many problems of the world will be reduced,” Muhammad-Bande said.

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He added, “We will try to create harmony within the Assembly, we will listen, we will stick with what is right; we will continue to raise the profile, not only of Nigeria but of the continent as a serious continent equal to any in the world.”

Muhammad-Bande, a former Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), stood as the sole candidate for the 74th UNGA presidency zoned this year to Africa.

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