Sunday, 12 February 2017

[NG]Nigerian govt recovers $151 million, N8 billion looted funds through whistleblowers – Minister

The Federal Government said it recovered another $151 million and N8 billion looted funds from three sources through whistleblowers.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.
Mr. Mohammed said actionable information given by whistleblowers to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation led to the recovery of the looted fund.
He said the looted  funds do not include the $9.2 million cash recently recovered from a former Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, also through the whistle-blower policy.
Mr. Yakubu has since been arrested by the EFCC.
“The biggest amount of $136.7 million was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake account name,” Mr. Mohammed said.
“This was  followed by N7 billion and 15 million dollars from another person and  N1 billion from yet another.”

The minister reiterated the position of government that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration.
He said the whistleblower policy has started yielding fruit, few months after its adoption by the government.
“The whistle-blower policy is barely two months old and Nigerians have started feeling its impact, how a few people squirreled away public funds.
“It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mind-boggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria.
”Yet whatever has been recovered so far, including the $9.2 million by the EFCC, is just a tip of the iceberg,” he said.
The minister appealed to Nigerians with useful information on looted funds to continue to provide the authorities with such information, saying confidentiality will be maintained with regards to the source of the information.
He also reminded Nigerians of the financial reward aspect of the policy.
”If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistle blower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent  (Minimum) and 5.0 per cent (Maximum) of the total amount recovered,” he said.
Mr. Mohammed did not name the whistleblowers or how much each would get from the recently recovered sum.
The new whistleblower policy was announced by the federal government in December.

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