SahareReporters in the excerpt from their article below described how President Buhari rejected best advice from his ministers in prioritizing repatriating looted funds stashed in the UAE.
Etisalat and Emirates airlines are some UAE investments in Nigeria. NewsRescue dug-up for more information on the agreements to find what Buhari may have traded in effort to repatriate loot. We found the agreements include an agreement on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion, signed by the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, and Nigerian Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
This means Nigeria would tax Etisalat less or nothing for instance, thus losing funds over the long haul for the UAE to repatriate funds and Nigerian criminals. We are investigating for the full details to evaluate the sum of the negotiations and their overall benefits, if zero-sum or non zero-sum.
Below is the SaharaReporters report:
SaharaReporters has learned that the commercial and trade agreements signed between Nigeria and the UAE were considered by many on Mr. Buhari’s delegation as counter to Nigeria’s best economic interests. The most vocal dissenters, according to sources, were Mrs. Adeosun and Mr. Udoma, who counseled Mr. Buhari not to sign those agreements.
Our sources revealed that Mr. Buhari was, however, not interested in his ministers’ arguments that the economic agreements between Nigeria and the UAE were weighted against Nigeria’s interests. “Mr. President was focused on doing whatever was necessary to repatriate stolen funds and extradite criminals hiding in the UAE,” said one source. He added, “He was so concerned about that sole issue that he became incensed about the warning from some members of his team.”
At one point in the debate, Mr. Buhari declared his readiness to relieve Mrs. Adeosun and Mr. Udoma of their portfolios if they did not drop their opposition to the agreements.
One source told SaharaReporters that the two ministers realized the importance of identifying and reclaiming assets illicitly stashed away by corrupt Nigerians in the UAE, especially Dubai. However, they felt that Nigeria gave away too much in terms of its bilateral economic interests in order to achieve the president’s major goal.