FG recovers $1bn loot under Buhari administration


…Convicts 3000 offenders

…As Govt expresses worries over budget padding

… Approves extension of Anti-corruption Strategy Document to fight corruption

The Federal Government has disclosed that a whooping sum of $1 billion from looted funds has been recovered so far under the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration since 2015.

This is just as the Government disclosed that about 3,000 looters found guilty of corruption offences have upon trial been convicted under the Buhari led government.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar  and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

According to Malami, the recovered assets have been deployed to various sectors of the economy including poverty alleviation schemes.

According to him, the Federal Government had recorded only 109 convictions before  2015, while the Buhari administration have convicted over 3,000 offenders and recovered about $1 billion to date.

He further disclosed that FEC approved on Wednesday validation extension of the Anti-corruption Strategy Document 2022 to 2026, a new policy which resulted from cooperation amongst Justices, to strengthen anti-graft fight in the country.

Malami also expressed government’s concern over cases of budget padding, which he described as worrisome, noting that every necessary measure would be explored to address it.

The AGF, while responding to question on budget padding, expressed disappointments on Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs) complicit of budget padding.

Responding to questions on loud cases of budget padding revealed by the National Assembly in the ongoing budget defense of MDAs, the AGF stated that the Federal Government was studying the revelations and will take necessary actions to address it.

“Whichever way one looks at it, budget padding is bad, because if you budget N5 billion for road and N3 billion of that fund is diverted, it means government has lost that money and it will take a longer period to complete the project.

“The Government is concerned and will do what is necessary to address the issue,” he reacted.

Meanwhile, during his briefing, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said Council approved a budget augmentation of N14 billion on the Kano Western bypass, awarded to Dantata and Sawoe.

According to him, the road project was raised from N22 billion to N36.89 billion.

“The need to include a flyover and more hydronic facilities to drain water, necessitated the augmentation,” he said.

He added that, “This will link the Kano-Maiduguri highway.”

He said the contract was inherited from previous administrations but the Muhammadu Buhari administration was determined to complete it.

“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented a Council memo to get approval for the augmentation of the contract price for the completion of the Kano Western bye-pass which we inherited. The project had essentially not been funded in previous budget years.

“We are now executing it by the Sukuk Bond. Council considered and approved the augmentation which was for N14.095 billion. Some of the items covered by the augmentation include the old amount for Value Added Tax (VAT), which was increased from 5 to 7.5 per cent.

“Others are the need to construct a flyover at Dawanau International Market interchange and also the need to construct more hydraulic facilities to help drain water especially in the parts of the road that pass through the city centres and towns and the Council approved this,” he added.

The Minister added that upon completion, the road will link the Kano-Maiduguri highway which is almost completed.

Fashola also said the Ministry sought and got Council’s approval to use the funds approved for the construction of a trailer park along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway, to complete the main carriage way.