Buhari plans another trip despite criticism over his frequent foreign travels


Despite mounting criticism over his frequent foreign trips, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set for yet another journey to the UK.

The trip next month will be his 28th since he was inaugurated as President on May 29, 2015.

Undaunted, President Buhari has explained to anyone who cares that his trips have yielded the results and were helping his administration achieve its goals.

During the UK trip, Nigeria and 59 other nations are expected to sign an agreement on the sanctions to be imposed on corrupt political and public office holders.

The 60 nation agreement is aimed at ensuring that the countries involved would no longer be a “safe haven” for treasury looters.

Some of the sanctions that may be imposed on culprits include travel restriction or denial of entry visa into the 60 countries and rejection of requests for political asylum.

Others are likely loss of citizenship; no more approval of naturalisation for any corrupt person and no establishment of shell companies abroad.

The corrupt will also not be allowed to operate foreign accounts in any of the 60 nations.

According to Nigerian Attorney-General  Abubakar Malami the agreement would make it difficult for those stealing public funds to escape abroad or operate slush accounts.

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is stepping up the fight against corruption.

“The agreement in May is on the imposition of international sanctions against corrupt political and public office holders. This will take place at the 2016 international summit on anti-corruption in the UK, “Mr Malami said.

Some of the looted funds include $723 million (about N142 billion) repatriated from Switzerland in the last 10 years; $200b allegedly stashed in UAE; $480m to be released to the Federal Government by US; £22.5 million (N6 billion) recovered from the Island of Jersey; and about £400b in Europe, Asia and America.

The Swiss government last month confirmed that it had so far returned $723 million of stolen funds seized from the family of the late former head of state, Gen Sani Abacha, to the Nigerian government in the last 10 years.

Reacting to the latest trip, opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said it was no longer interested in the debate, but only keen on their benefits.

PDP spokesman Mr Oliseh Metuh said Friday in Abuja that the President should know better.

“If these trips will assist in solving the economic problems, then let him make the trips.”