Recovered Loot Not Enough To Revive Economy

Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed
Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed

Looted funds recovered so far by the Muhammadu Buhari administration is not near what the country needs to revive the economy, minister of information and culture, Lai Muhammed has said.

He said this on Friday at a forum organized by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja.

In a statement to mark the first year of the administration, Mohammed said the cash recoveries made between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016, including recoveries under interim forfeiture (cash and assets), totalled over N3. 4 trillion. It said about N115 billion was being awaited from the Switzerland, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

“What we have recovered and if my record is right is about N78 billion, and 3 million dollars.

“We have been able to block various accounts in which about 9 billion dollar is found but those are not money available to us because we are still in court over them.

“The government spends N165 billion every month to pay federal civil servants, even what has been so far recovered will not even pay 50 per cent of the salaries in a month,” the minister said.

He assured that every penny recovered will be judiciously spent; adding that the case of re-looting of recovered funds is not possible under the present administration.



    On budget release, the minister said the Ministry of Finance has so far released N400 billion for capital projects, mostly on roads, railway, and power.

    “N400 billion seems a lot, but you must also understand that for three or four years contractors were not paid.

    “So, when we paid this money to contractors, they also use part of it to settle their own debt, they used part of it to recall laid off staff.

    “But the truth of the matter is that many of them have been paid, they are yet to mobilise to site and they cannot do so until the rains are over.

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