President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed Executive Order 008 on Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS) October 2018, which grants pardon for individuals who voluntarily declare their illegal offshore assets.
According to a statement by Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the Executive Order mandates the AGF to set up and implement the VOARS.
“VOARS gives all relevant persons and their intermediaries who have defaulted in the declaration of their offshore assets the opportunity to voluntarily declare and regularize their offshore assets, subject to fulfillment of the terms and conditions stipulated in the Order and other subsequent regulations,” Gwandu said.
“In order to ensure seamless exchange of information, VOARS will work closely with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit which has worldwide access to relevant financial information.
“FGN hopes that relevant persons amongst Nigerians, Nigerian entities and their intermediaries will seize the opportunity provided by VOARS to declare and regularize their offshore assets before it is too late.
“Relevant persons who voluntarily declare their offshore assets and pay the stipulated levy to FGN will receive compliance certificates which allow them to use their residual assets freely without hindrance.
“The recoveries accruing to FGN will be used for essential infrastructure development for benefit of Nigerians,” he said.