Listing of Assets Key To Democracy, says US envoy


Simon Ateba

The declaration of assets by public officials is an important part of the democratic process as it builds trust and eliminates suspicions, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, has said.

“I think the declaration of assets is important because it eliminates concerns about conflict of interests. It demonstrates on a regular basis whether an individual has suspicious increase in income,” McCulley said on ’60 Minutes With Angela’, a television programme aired on MiTV on Thursday.

Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, recently rejected calls by opposition parties and pro-democracy organisations to make his assets public as was done by President Umaru Yar’Adua, his predecessor.

But McCulley did not express his opinion about the Nigerian situation, rather he said it is an important part of the democratic process in the United States.

“I think it’s an important part of the democratic process in the United States to build trust in institutions and individuals,” he said.

Quoting President Barack Obama, McCulley said Africa will be better off if it had strong institutions and not strong men.

“The constructions of democratic institutions are fundamental to the construction of democracy. I think strong institutions and effective oversight of these institution is important to the fight against corruption, important for the success of elections,” McCulley said.

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He said only three identified individuals have been labelled terrorists by the American Government.

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“I think most Americans are focused on the economy.

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