The president believes the threat of jail terms is not strong enough to deter perpetrators.
President Muhammadu Buhari has advocated for more than jail terms for people who loot their nation's wealth, noting that full asset recovery will serve as a more effective deterrence.
The president said this while addressing world leaders at the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum in France on Sunday, November 11, 2018.
He called for a harder crackdown on perpetrators of illicit financial flows to discourage more public officials from mismanaging their nation's resources to the detriment of poor and vulnerable populace.
During his statement on "Illicit Financial Flows (Iffs) and Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance", he said the threat of jail terms is not strong enough to deter perpetrators.
He said a more effective punishment would be to fully recover the profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption.
He said, "Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.
"A more powerful deterrent is to ensure that profits and assets generated from illicit financial flows and corruption are recovered and returned to countries of origin.
"This is not to under-estimate the value of strong institutions. It only indicates that asset recovery represents significant deterrence compared to the traditional focus on obtaining conviction by the law enforcement agencies of the countries of origin."
Buhari demands sanctions on lawyers, bankers, others
The president also advocated for a crackdown on safe havens for corrupt assets as well as sanctions on lawyers, bankers, brokers, public officials and others whom he called 'transactional middlemen' who facilitate illicit financial flows.
"I would like to reiterate that the Government of Nigeria remains open and is ever willing to continue to identify and share experiences and strategies to give life to the ideas that will lead to winning the fight against corruption," he said.
He noted that Nigeria's Whistleblowing policy has facilitated the recovery of billions of naira from corrupt people. He said the recovered loot has been redirected to the development of critical infrastructure and programmes that will benefit all Nigerians.