The Federal Government says it has re-covered the sum of N54.05 billion from treasury looters through the Whistleblower Policy which was introduced in December 2016.
A breakdown of the money in naira and dollar denominations shows that $151 million (N54.05 billion at the official exchange rate of N305/$) and N8 billion stolen funds were re-covered by the government.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Al-haji Lai Mohammed, who issued a statement on the development in Lagos on Sunday, said that the looted funds, which do not include the $9.2 million in cash, allegedly owned by the former Group Man-aging Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were recovered from three sources through whistle-blowers who gave action-able information to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
The biggest amount of $136,676,600.51 was re-covered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake account name, followed by N7 billion and $15 million from another person and N1 billion from yet another.
‘’When we told Nigerians that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration, some people called us liars. Well, the Whistle-blower Policy is barely two months old and Nigerians have started feeling its impact, seeing how a few people squirrelled away public funds. It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mindboggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria.
‘’Yet, whatever has been recovered so far, including the $9.2 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is just a tip of the iceberg,’’ Mohammed said.
He 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.
The minister also re-minded Nigerians of the financial reward aspect of the policy, saying: ‘’If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the ac-count of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to any-where between 2.5 percent (minimum) and 5.0 per-cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.’’