February 19, 2018 / 8:41 PM / in 4 months

Nigeria to sell assets seized in anti-graft probes to boost treasury, president says

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will sell all assets seized by the government in anti-graft probes and use the funds to bolster the treasury, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari arrives for the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Nigerian state coffers have in past years been ransacked by government officials and their associates, and corruption is prevalent throughout society. Buhari was elected in 2015 in part on a promise to rid the country of graft.

“All mismanaged and misappropriated national assets recovered will be sold off and proceeds paid to the treasury for the benefit of the country,” he said, according to a statement from his spokesman.

The presidency statement did not say when the sales would happen, nor provide further details.

Very few officials from Buhari’s administration have so far been prosecuted despite frequent allegations against them.

Notable exceptions were his sacking last October of Nigeria’s most senior civil servant, Babachir Lawal, and the former head of the National Intelligence Agency for alleged involvement in corruption.

Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Paul Carsten; editing by John Stonestreet

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