Publish Your Assets, SERAP Tells Tinubu


As President Bola Tinubu marks his first year in office on May 29, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has charged him to make his asset declaration form available to Nigerians to demonstrate his commitment to democracy and transparency.

SERAP also urged the president to encourage Vice President Kashim Shettima, ministers and state governors to publish their asset declaration forms.

The civil society organisation made the call in an open letter dated May 25, 2024, signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

The group urged President Tinubu to urgently propose a constitutional amendment to include provisions on creating asset declaration databases to publish government officials’ asset declaration forms before, during, and after serving in public office.

It insisted that if the president published his asset declaration form and encouraged his vice-president, ministers, and state governors to publish their assets, it would serve legitimate public interests.
SERAP stated that 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.

The organisation reminded the president, as promised in his 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.”

It also urges him to use his first anniversary in office as an essential opportunity to underscore and reaffirm his oft-repeated commitment to democratic governance, openness and public accountability by immediately taking concrete steps to implement the proposed recommendations.
SERAP maintained that transparency in the details of asset declaration forms would also enable Nigerians to scrutinise the forms, verify the financial situation of public officials, and alert them about possible conflicts of interest and corruption.

It further stated that asset declaration forms are a matter of public interest and that President Tinubu must provide leadership and encourage other high-ranking public officials to harness new technologies to publish the details of their asset declaration forms online and make the forms readily available to the public.

SERAP said, “Corruption is one of the greatest challenges to improving the country’s democracy and rebuilding a transparent, accountable and participatory system of governance. One way corrupt politicians in the country have perpetuated corrupt practices is through hiding assets.

“Transparency and openness would also increase public confidence in the integrity of high-ranking public officials and government generally, and ensure that political authorities are honest when they provide services to people.”

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