Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the looted funds recovered so far by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) including the $9.8 million cash allegedly siphoned by erstwhile NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu, were nothing compared to what was stolen under the last administration.
He said this in a statement signed by his special assistant, Segun Adeyemi.
According to the minister, since the federal government’s whistle-blower policy came into effect barely two months ago, over $160 million and N8 billion of looted fund have been recovered through the tip-off given to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation by three sources whose information were actionable.
Mohammed said the biggest amount of $136,676,600.51 was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake account name, followed by 7 billion Naira and $15 million from another person and N1 billion from yet another.
He further 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 said: ”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 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,
”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% (minimum) and 5.0% (maximum) of the total amount recovered”.