Abuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday that the Federal Government withheld the names of persons from whom looted assets were recovered in order not to compromise ongoing investigations.
Osinbajo made the clarification when he received a delegation of the European Union led by the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, a release by his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, said.
While the government released a list of sums of monies and assets already recovered in the last one year, names of individuals involved were not included.
“We have released the list of recovered loot; we know people are asking for the names, but releasing the names may jeopardise ongoing investigations,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President also explained that the Federal Government was engaging leaders and people of the Niger Delta, regarding the spate of attacks on oil installations in the area, an act he stated, amounted to economic sabotage.
He, however, added that besides reaching out to the people in the area, government was also beefing up security there.
According to him, the focus of the Buhari presidency is to ensure that the man on the street in the Niger Delta receives the benefit from all that is available there.
He also called on the leaders of the region to be accountable to the people.
According to Osinbajo, the Federal Government is working round the clock to minimize the losses arising from the attacks.
“We are talking, we are ensuring that we minimize losses and we are stepping up security.
“We are also engaging the international oil companies (IOC), to see what options exist.”
On economic issues, the Vice President restated government’s commitment to drive its diversification policy.
He also encouraged investors from European countries to take advantage of the situation, especially in the agro-allied/processing industry.
He restated the determination of the administration to ensure that the ease of doing business ranking in Nigeria increased by at least 20 steps in the World Bank rating.
Accordingly, he said the President has approved the composition of a Presidential Commission on the issue, to be chaired by him, the VP, with the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr Okey Enelamah, as Vice-Chairman.
“In the next few months, we should be seeing some changes,” he promised.
Earlier, Arrion said he came to hold consultations with the Vice President as a follow-up to President Buhari’s meeting with EU leaders during his visit to the continent.
Said he: “Nigeria has a huge market we can invest in; it is also a place we can export from.”
Osinbajo and Arrion also discussed the EU trade deal with ECOWAS, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which was also one of the main issues tabled at the meeting of West African leaders over the weekend in Dakar. (NAN)