By Lawrence Olaoye
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that, the Federal Government has so far recovered N769 billon from looters.
Giving a breakdown of the recovered funds yesterday in Abuja, Malami said “The federal government recovered N13.8billion from tax evaders in May 2018.
“In May 2018 government paid N439.2million to about 14 whistle blowers who gave specific information on tax evasion.
“Again N3.8million, $378million US dollars 27,800 pounds was equally recovered from public officials.
“In summary the recovered funds by the three man committee is N769billion naira cash within the period under review.”
The three man Asset Recovery Audit Committee was chaired by Olufemi Lijadu with Gloria Bibiogha and Muhammed Nami as members.
This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari has called on members of the National Assembly (NASS) to hasten the passage of the Proceeds of Crime bill for his government to effectively fight corruption.
The President gave the charge yesterday while receiving the three-man panel he set up to audit recovered assets from May 29th to 22nd of November, 2017.
Buhari noted that the passage of the bill would revolutionalize the government’s asset recovery and management architecture.
He said “Once the Bill is passed and assented, most of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice would be adequately taken care of as the Bill addresses many 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, who categorized corruption as an unusual and extraordinary threat to well-being, national security and economy of the country, assured that his administration would not allow wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds.
He added “Given our history of impunity, Nigeria’s wealth has historically been sqandered or stolen; leaving us with inadequate infrastructure that is woefully insufficient to support our ever growing economy.
“Asset recovery is thus one of the realities of today’s Nigeria and we must therefore take issues of managing such recovered assets serious.
We must utilize proceeds of our recoveries optimally to solve our economic and social problems and there must be zero opportunity to relooting.”