The United States Government will not hand over physical cash accruing from looted funds by Nigerians in the country to the Nigeria government.
But it will redirect such money to funding of development programmes in the Nigeria.
These were disclosed Tuesday in Abuja by the International Affairs Fellow, Under Council of Foreign Affiars, Mathew T. Paige, during a Special Lecture organized by Baze University.
Paige who fielded questions from students and lecturers alike after his theme talk, “Improving USA anti-corruption Policy in Nigeria,” said, “There are different constructions in attitudes and approaches in different western countries- London and other European countries and the United States.”
He said the sense in Washington compared to Switzerland, and Luxembourg is not to take the seed funds and hand over back to Nigerian government directly.
He said, “There is a sense in Washington that they don’t want to hand the funds directly back to the government that is involved in corruption and embezzlement.
Paige noted that instead, those funds have to be put into development programmes for Nigeria as funding for these programmes, saying, “The desirable thing is to cut out the middle man to succeed. I think that is where things are heading right now. I don’t need to see the US handing some sort of Ghana Must Go bag full of stolen loot back to the government.
On what the US government is doing to prevent funds from being stolen secretly or being put in the United States, he said, “Sadly and this is much of the embarrassment of the US., the US has one of the most opaque and secretive corporate structures in the world. The US federation like the Nigerian federation, each of the states has its own set of different laws governing business transparency and incorporation laws. There are these two states I know, Delaware and Nevada that has very secretive incorporation laws; Delaware especially. You can basically create an anonymous corporation in Delaware and use that as a Shell company. The point of this is spot on.”
Paige said until the United States domestically changes its laws to conform with some international standards on business transparency, the United States has less transparent business and this serves for some offshore tax havens for businesses.
“That is a very important damage to the issue which unfortunately requires our legislature to take action and change the law. And the problem is that a lot of people go inside the US. and benefit from these structures.
“The idea is how do we get some sort of policy analysts or advocacy people to try to convince the U.S. lawmakers that they can structure the system in which the U.S. laws be some more transparent from the standpoint of international anti-corruption but wouldn’t disrupt the sort of vested established interest who want those structures for tax reasons.