New Telegraph

1st Anniversary: Publish Your Assets, SERAP Tells Tinubu, Shettima, Govs

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday asked President Bola Tinubu to use his first year anniversary in office “as an opportunity to demonstrate your oft-expressed commitment to democracy, accountability, and openness in government by immediately publishing your asset declaration form”.

The group also told him “to encourage” Vice-President Kashim Shettima, ministers, and governors “to also widely publish their asset declaration forms”.

In a statement, SERAP asked Tinubu: “To urgently propose a constitutional amendment to include provisions on the creation of asset declaration databases to publish government officials’ asset declaration forms before, during, and after serving in public office”.

The organisation added: “Widely publishing your asset declaration form and encouraging your VP, ministers, and governors to also widely publish their assets would serve legitimate public interests.

“Publishing your asset declaration form and encouraging others to do so would also promote public trust and establish a system of transparency, accountability and public participation.

“Openness and transparency in the details of asset declaration forms of high-level public officials would strengthen the country’s democracy and promote accountability at all levels of government.”

SERAP further said: “You promised in your inaugural speech on May 29, 2023 ‘to take proactive steps to discourage corruption’, and to ensure that ‘Nigeria is impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law’.

“We urge you to use your first anniversary in office as an important opportunity to underscore and reaffirm your oft-repeated commitment to democratic governance, openness, and public accountability by immediately taking concrete steps to implement the proposed recommendations.

“Transparency in the details of asset declaration forms would also enable Nigerians to scrutinise the forms and verify the financial situation of public officials and alert about possible conflicts of interest and corruption.

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and maintain the requirements of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption and human rights obligations.”

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