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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Looters have more money than the Federal, state and local government joined together – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government said in Abuja on Sunday, that there were indications that looters have more money in their possession than all tiers of government.

It however hailed its whistle-blower policy, which has led to the recovery of looted funds in many currencies that he said might otherwise not have been discovered, describing it as an effective tool of fighting corruption in Nigeria.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the policy had also shown the depth of support among Nigerians for the fight against corruption.

He therefore thanked Nigerians for the enthusiasm and commitment that he said they had shown in helping the government to tackle what he described as “the hydra-headed monster of corruption ” through the useful leads they had been providing to appropriate government agencies.

According to him, ”Since we launched the whistle-blower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians.

“Yes, there is monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds, but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward.

”Nigerians, fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information.

“We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, in deep forests and even in burial grounds.

”Thanks to whistle-blowers, it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices.”

Mohammed expressed appreciation to Nigerians for providing formation.

He said, “Thanks to the useful information provided by Nigerians, it is now obvious that more funds are in the possession of looters than are available to government at all levels to meets its obligations, including paying workers’ salaries, providing social amenities, upgrading infrastructure and ensuring the security of lives and property.

”As the looters continue to run helter-skelter, many of them are even abandoning their booty at unusual places, including airports.

“We want to assure Nigerians that we will not abandon this policy for whatever reason. Instead, we will continue to rejig it to make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption.”

He said the recovered looted funds are safe, adding that as soon as the necessary reconciliation process and the litigation in some of the cases are concluded, the government will give a full account of the funds to Nigerians.

Mohammed re-assured Nigerians who have useful information on looted funds that the government will protect their identities and also ensure that they get the stipulated reward for their efforts.

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