- Tuesday, 03 July 2012
- By Admin
Press Statement: The attention of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, has been drawn to a news story in the Guardian Newspaper of 1 July 2012, suggesting that comments by His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan on assert declaration during his media chat of last week was in part a
"violation of an agreement between Nigeria and the United States of America."
It is important for the general public to understand that the President's comment did not violate any agreement because there is no agreement between Nigeria and the United States on Public declaration of assets.
The news story currently referred to aspects of a joint communique issued by Nigeria and the United States at the US-Nigeria Binational Commission held in Washington DC from 4-5 June, 2012 which reaffirmed Nigeria's commitment to budgetary transparency and accountability, including assets declaration by senior public officials.
These were commitments freely made by Nigeria, and not part of an agreement between it and the US Government. Unless the motives is to disparage the Federal Government, the author of the news story who is based in the US and routinely covers the United Nations should know that there is a world of difference between a communique, a mere summary of issues discussed in a meeting, an agreement, which is a legal and binding document that defines obligations on the part of those covered by it.
For the avoidance of doubt, there is no agreement between Nigeria and the United States on Public asserts declaration. It is therefore misleading to suggest that comments by President Jonathan in the media chat were a violation of an agreement between Nigeria and the United States of America.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
2 July 2012.