*Says FG expecting $200m from Nertherland, Switzerland as part of OPL 245 Malabu Oil
By Alex Enumah
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Tuesday, said the Ministry of Justice facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears owed the federal government by oil companies operating in the country.
The amount is part of money accruable to the government from the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).
Malami, who made the disclosure at a workshop for Judiciary Correspondents in Abuja, said that the ministry had recorded landmark achievements in the last one year, following his reappointment as AGF in 2019.
Reeling out the successes of the ministry under him in the last one year, the minister noted that the $62bn recovered was due to the anti corruption crusade of the present administration.
Aside the recovery from oil companies, Malami recalled that another sum of $311million was recovered from the US and the Bailwick of Jersey, in the third phase of Abacha loot repatriation and another $6.3 million from the Republic of Northern Ireland.
Malami said the money had been paid into the federal government’s treasury for infrastructure development, which include Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, in line with tripartite agreement reached with US and Jersey.
Malami further disclosed that $200 million was being expected from Nertherland and Switzerland as part of OPL 245 Malabu Oil, while the sum of N685,784,757 was recoverd through the help of whistle blowers within the last one year.
According to him, the sum of N500million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks and barges.
He said a legal framework introduced by the ministry had helped to raise stamp duty collection from a mere total of N22billion over the years to N66billion within the last six months of the amendment of the act.
As part of efforts at eradicating corruption in the country, the AGF said some bills, including Electronic Transaction Act, Electronic Evidence Act, Digital Management Act and Electronic Banking Act were in the offing to stimulate the economy.
He added that the ministry was also coming up with other Acts to regulate emerging digital-financial sub sector of the economy.
Some of the Acts, he noted, will provide for national digital certification authority that will regulate issuance and processing of public and private electronic key validations.
The expected bill will prepare Nigeria for emerging realities relating to digital cash, Bitcoin wallet and e-currency.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata SAN, said reporting the activities of the judiciary and justice sector in the country was a crucial task.
Apata said that the growing interest by the general public in what the judiciary sector does, particularly in criminal cases, election litigations, fight against corruption, among others, underscores the importance of the media in creating the much-needed awareness that helps in shaping public opinion and perception in that directon.