Nigeria's colonial master, the United Kingdom, is offering assistance to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against corruption.

It is helping in different ways and the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Karen Pierce, hinted the Security Council briefing on ‘Corruption and Conflict’ of their efforts. 

She said Nigeria and the UK were working to provide public awareness on corruption.

Ambassador Pierce told the Council that the UK is a very strong supporter of the UN Convention against Corruption.

Listing some of the cooperation between her nation and Nigeria, Pierce said: “Asset recovery is a crucial part of efforts to tackle corruption and it’s a fundamental principle of the Convention.

"In 2017, we co-hosted the first Global Forum on Asset Recovery with the USA, the World Bank and UNODC (UN Office on Drugs and Crime).

"This forum helped progress arrangements for returning stolen assets of over $300 million to Nigeria.

"Chapter VI of the Convention highlights the importance of technical assistance and information exchange.

"The UK is proud to be working in partnership with several countries to share best practice and develop capacity.

"In Nigeria, we provide technical assistance and equipment to key agencies fighting international and domestic financial and economic crime, and we work to raise public awareness of corruption".

The UK envoy regretted that no country was immune from corruption, pointing out that losses from corruption totalled trillions of dollars yearly.

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Pierce said corruption held back economic development, undermined the provision of public services and stoked grievances and ultimately, conflict, adding  that Kofi Annan in 2003 called  corruption “an insidious plague.’’

She pointed out that the links between corruption and conflict were well established, saying a corrupt government could generate grievances that lead to discontent and then to violence and conflict.

“UNODC studies in Iraq, Nigeria and Afghanistan show how once conflict begins, it creates even more opportunities for bribery and other corrupt practices.

“In turn, this undermines the rule of law and that fuels further conflict. Terrorist groups such as ISIS or al-Qaeda take advantage of corruption both to fund their operations but also to attract recruits and fund their ideology,” she said.

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