Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, says the federal government is working on an executive order to tackle fraud and money laundering.
Speaking when he appeared on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television, Shehu described the 77 suspects on FBI list as an embarrassment to the country.
He also said it is unfair to paint every Nigerian with the same brush, emphasising that the US incident is damaging to Nigeria’s image.
“This is a double damage on every citizen of Nigeria. It is a big scare on all of us who go out of this country and are seen in this image that these our brothers have created,” he said.
“We will cooperate with international organizations, the government will generate and ask for new laws from the National Assembly and there will be new executive orders that will block some of these loopholes that are being exploited by some of our fellow country men to go out there and embarrass and blacklist the country.”
On the specific reaction of the federal government on the burst of the FBI, he said: “Like I said earlier, this administration will work with all nations around the globe to fight criminality. If Nigerians are involved in this thing, well hard luck to them.
“The president will not stand in the way of the justice system. Every citizen that travels out of this country is expected to obey the laws of their host country. President Muhammadu Buhari is not one to excuse Nigerians from the laws of countries in which they reside.
“Therefore you will expect a more vigorous engagement with National Assembly. The laws will have to change, this has got to be tackled and if it will take executive orders, this will be strengthened very rapidly.”
Asked if there is direct communication between Nigeria and the American government on the incident, the presidential media aide said: “Yes, the diaspora commission is there and the Nigerian Government has taken position on this matter, it is cooperation all the way.
“I think every person with a modicum of common sense knows that the action of few Nigerians is not the action of all Nigerians. We are 200 million plus in the country and you are talking about 80 Nigerians in this case, they will face the justice system, if the Nigerian Government is expected to cooperate in anyway, extradition, if it meets the requirement of our laws, they will be assisted to ensure they face justice in that country.
“Nigerians are hardworking people all over the world, there are millions of our citizens out there earning legitimate living, they don’t deserve to be so tarnished.”