Keeping His Promise, Buhari Announces Recovery of N3.4 Trillion in One Year


N115bn expected from Switzerland, UK, UAE, US

Abimbola Akosile in Lagos and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

In line with the promise President Muhammadu Buhari made on May 14 in London to give details of looted funds recovered by the administration during the first anniversary of his presidency, the federal government yesterday released an interim report specifying the recovered cash and assets. The report contained in a statement in Lagos by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai 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.

Cash recovery within the period included N78,325,354,631.82 (Seventy eight billion, three hundred and twenty-five million, three hundred and fifty-four thousand, six hundred and thirty one Naira and eighty two kobo) and varying sums in other currencies, namely, $185,119,584.61 (One hundred and eight five million, one hundred and nineteen thousand, five hundred and eighty four US dollars, sixty one cents); 3,508,355.46 Pounds Sterling (Three million, five hundred and eight thousand, three hundred and fifty-five Pounds and 46 Pence), and 11, 250 Euros (Eleven thousand, two hundred and fifty Euros) from 29 May 2015 to 25 May 2016. These total about N144.9 billion.

Recoveries under interim forfeiture (cash and assets) during the period included N126,563,481,095.43 (One hundred and twenty six billion, five hundred and sixty three million, four hundred and eighty one thousand, and ninety five Naira, forty three Kobo) and the following amounts in other currencies: $9,090,243,920.15 (Nine billion, ninety million, two hundred and forty three thousand, nine hundred and twenty Dollars, fifteen cents); 2,484,447.55 Pounds Sterling (Two million, four hundred and eighty four thousand, four hundred and forty seven Pounds, fifty five Pence), and 303,399.17 Euros (Three hundred and three thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine Euros, 17 cents ). These come to about N3. 3 trillion.

Funds awaiting return from foreign jurisdictions included $321,316,726.1 (Three hundred and twenty one million, three hundred and sixteen thousand, seven hundred and twenty six Dollars, one cent); 6,900,000 Pounds (Six million, nine hundred thousand Pounds), and 11,826.11 Euros (Eleven thousand, eight hundred and twenty six Euros, 11 cents).

The recovered funds and assets were listed under four broad categories, namely, cash recoveries; recoveries under interim forfeiture; funds awaiting return from foreign jurisdictions, and non-cash recoveries.

The report also showed that there were non-cash recoveries (farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels) totalling 239 items.

About N39,169,911,023.00 was recovered through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which also secured $128,494,076.66, £2,355 and 11,250 Euros.

In addition, the sums of N5,665,305,527.41 and $8,000,000.00 were recovered from the on-going searchlight on the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), while the loots recovered by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and lodged with CBN were put at N2,632,196,271.71. Also N47.7 million, $1.94 million and £3.50 million in cash were recovered through the Department of State Services (DSS).

Under the report, cash recoveries involving royalty and tax payments to the federal government in JP Morgan account in New York was put at N4,642,958,711.48 (four billion, six hundred and forty-two million, nine hundred and fifty-eight thousand, seven hundred and 11 naira, forty-eight kobo), and $40,727,253.65 (forty million, seven hundred and twenty-seven thousand, two hundred and fifty-three dollars, sixty-five cents).

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation also recovered N5,500,000,000 (five billion, five hundred million naira) and $5,500,000 (five million, five hundred thousand dollars) in cash.

Buhari had said in an interview during the global anticorruption summit in London, “So far, what has come out, what has been recovered in whatever currency from each ministries, departments and individuals, I intend on the 29th to speak on this because all Nigerians are getting from the mass media because of the number of people arrested either by the EFCC, DSS. But we want to make a comprehensive report on the 29th.”

The president faced widespread criticism when in his Democracy Day speech on May 29 he failed to disclose the recovered funds as promised.