Published On: Sun, Feb 12th, 2017

Whistle-Blower Policy Is Yielding, Says F.G. As Another $151million, N8billion ‘Loots’ Discovered

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By Sadiq Umar – The recent Federal Government’s Whistle-blower policy has started yielding fruit with the recovery of the sum of US$151 million and N8 billion looted funds, Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed has said.

Mr. Mohammed, who spoke in a statement issued in Lagos Sunday, however said that the figures did not include the initial $9.2 million in cash allegedly recovered from a former Group Managing Director of the NNPC.

The new policy encourages whistle-blower to come up with information with suspected sleaze money with a promise of 2.5percent of the recovered fund.

The latest recoveries according to the Minister, came from just three sources through whistle-blowers who gave actionable information to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.

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 1 billion Naira 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 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,” Alhaji Mohammed stressed.

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.

The Minister also reminded 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 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”.

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