“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.
“Yet, whatever has been recovered so far, including the $9.2m by the EFCC, is just a tip of the iceberg.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this in a statement.
The minister said the looted funds, which did not include the $9.2m in cash allegedly owned by a former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, were recovered from just 3 sources through whistle-blowers who he said gave actionable information to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
He said that the $9.2m cash and others, were also dividends of the whistle-blower policy.
The minister said that the biggest amount of $136,676,600.51 (N42bn) was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where he said money was kept under an apparently fake account name.
This, he said, was followed by N7bn and $15m from another person and N1bn from yet another.
Mohammed appealed to Nigerians with useful information on looted funds to continue to provide the authorities with such information, saying confidentiality would be maintained with regard 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 between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.”
Meanwhile, some human rights groups – the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and the Campaign for Democracy – have called on the Federal Government to show value for the recovered loot by immediately injecting the money into the economy.