Seems the ‘fantastically corrupt’ statement has been finally resolved. British prime minister declared in his speech made earlier on before Buhari’s visit that Nigeria and Afghanistan are the two most corrupt countries in the world. But President Buhari doesn’t seem to want any apologies tendered to him by the British prime minister, all he needs is the return of our stolen funds by corrupt politicians.
Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu had said that Buhari was embarrassed by the comments and that Cameron must be looking at an old snapshot of Nigeria.
The Nigerian president said that he was not demanding any apology from anybody after Cameron’s unguarded remarks, which were made during a conversation with Queen Elizabeth II and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday.
Rather, Buhari implored the U.K. to assist in returning Nigerian public funds that he alleged had been stolen and hidden in British banks.
When asked on Wednesday if Nigeria was fantastically corrupt, Buhari replied: “Yes”.
Buhari recently appealed to the international community and United Nations for more cooperation in assisting Nigeria with recovering its assets that have been secreted abroad.
No conclusive figure has been put on the amount of Nigerian money laundered abroad, but Buhari has pointed to the oil and gas industry in particular as an area where mind-boggling sums have been stolen by public officials
A 2013 report by U.K. think tank Chatham House found that Nigerian crude oil is being stolen in an industrial scale and that the country was losing $3.6 billion annually as a conservative estimate, with proceeds from the oil being laundered in international financial centers including the U.K. and U.S.
One former military ruler of Nigeria, the late Sani Abacha, is believed to have looted up to $5 billion in public funds during his five years in power, with an estimated $2.2 billion thought to be stored in European bank accounts.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond defended Cameron for his comments.
“The Prime Minister was merely stating a fact. These are both countries with serious corruption problems and the leaders of both those countries know they have those problems and are determined to deal with them,” said Hammond on Wednesday during a visit to Gibraltar, the BBC reported.