We’ll effectively utilised N769bn recovered loots, assets – Buhari

We’ll effectively utilised N769bn recovered loots, assets – Buhari
September 12 12:00 2018

By Ahmed Idris

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that the federal government would effectively utilise the N769 billion recovered funds and assets for the benefit of all Nigerians.

The President said this when he received report of the three-man Presidential Committee on the Audit of Recovered Funds by government agencies headed by Femi Lijadu at the State House in Abuja.

The agencies are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD), Federal Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Office of the National Security Adviser and the State Security Service (SSS).

He said government would henceforth block loopholes for stealing public funds,p and strengthens its fight against corruption and other related offences in order to foster greater accountability and transparency in the country.

He said: “We must utilize proceeds of our recoveries optimally to address our economic and social problems, and loopholes for stealing public funds must be blocked.To this end, let me assure Nigerians that the findings and recommendations of the Committee would be carefully examined and given due consideration with a view to implementing the recommendations.

“Our asset recovery and management system will in future be transparently, effectively and efficiently managed, and we will set-out a fresh template of public accountability in the country. However, a key tool that will revolutionize our asset recovery and management architecture is the Proceeds of Crimes Bill which is currently awaiting passage by the National Assembly.

“Once the Bill is passed and assented, many of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice will be adequately taken care of as the Bill addresses most of the challenges facing effective asset recovery and management in Nigeria. I therefore encourage the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the Bill.”

The President said the present administration would continue to keep faith with its promise and remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status and surmounts all security challenges.

In his remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, said the federal government has so far recovered N769 billion stolen funds.

“In May 2018, government paid N439.2 million to about 14 whistle blowers who gave specific information on tax evasion. Again N3.8 million, $378 million, £27,800 were equally recovered from public officials. In summary the recovered funds by the three-man committee is N769 billion naira cash were recovered within the period under review,” he said.

Also speaking, chairman of the committee, Femi Lijadu, said findings of the committee and recommendations would assist the government’s efforts to ensure that all assets are accounted for and managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner.

He said the report is in five volumes thus: “Volume I is the Main Report which contains the committee’s findings and recommendations. Volume II contains the detailed schedule of cash recoveries. Volume III contains detailed schedule of non-cash recoveries. Volume IV contains correspondence with auditees. Volume V contains presentations and memoranda from auditees and professional organizations.”