- President Buhari said his administration’s whistle-blower policy has recovered over N500 billion
- The figure mentioned by the president is, however, different from the figures stated by the finance minister and the EFCC chief
- The APC media strategist said the contradictions in the figures will be reconciled soon
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, May 29, said his administration’s “whistle-blowing policy has helped to recover over N500 billion.
The president said this during his Democracy Day speech which aired at 7am on Tuesday, May 29.
Premium Times notes that the figure appears to contradict the one provided by Ibrahim Magu, acting head of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, who said his agency recovered only N29 billion as at the end of October 2017.
As at the end of March, Kemi Adeosun, the finance minister, reportedly gave N7.8 billion, $378 million and £27,800 as the total recovered through whistle-blowing tips. The figure, totaling N143 billion, was provided as part of the activities of Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
In his address Tuesday, May 29, the president said PICA has helped his anti-corruption efforts and led to the removal of over 52,000 ghost-workers from federal payroll and a more efficient public service.
President Buhari’s achievements in the ghost-working menace, however, have not been independently confirmed.
The N13 billion National Intelligence Agency cash stashed away in Ikoyi, Lagos, and the $9 million buried in a Kaduna slum were the biggest recoveries made through the policy, which took effect in December 2016.
Although the initiative buoyed the administration’s overall loot recovery efforts, only a fraction of recovered funds had come as a result of the policy.
In general, the total loot recovered by the Buhari administration has been difficult to ascertain. The recovered loot is segregated from the assets and recoveries still undergoing litigation at various courts for potential forfeitures to the government.
At least two senior officials have allegedly provided contradictory figures while speaking about recovered loot.
In November 2017, Magu said the EFCC recovered N739 billion in two years.
Earlier this year, he said his agency recovered N511 billion in 2017 alone.
But in a February 2018 letter, Kemi Adeosun, the finance minister, challenged Magu’s claims. She said only N91 billion was recovered since Buhari assumed office in May 2015 as computed by the accountant-general of the federation.
According to Premium Times, Adeosun asked Magu to explain how he came about the humongous figures he was bandying in the media.
After the memo was leaked in late March, Adeosun’s office and the EFCC said there was a mishap in the reconciliation of figures and promised to address contradiction.
No update has been provided by either of them ever since.
Even if the president was alluding to the overall recovery by his administration, his N500 billion claim contradicted the N739 billion by Magu and the N91 billion by Adeosun or N143 billion by Adeosun, the newspaper notes.
Observers are reportedly baffled by the numerous contradictions that seem to show a lack of coordination amongst government officials.
“We were made to understand that all recovered funds pass through the same channel, so why the contradiction”, said political analyst, Sola Olubanjo.
“What is the sense in the president given a figure different from the one given by the minister in charge of finance and the one given by the anti-corruption agencies,” Olubanjo said. “It is unfortunate.”
However, Ayo Akanji, a media strategist for the All Progressives Congress, said there was no contradiction in the real sense, only difficulties in the reconciliation of figures.
“The figures are being reconciled as we speak,” Akanji reportedly said.
“The Ministry of Finance and the EFCC have been making separate recoveries, but there will be reconciliation soon.”
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Legit.ng previously reported that President Buhari on Tuesday, May 29, enjoined state governors to embark on voter education exercise to enable Nigerians to obtain their PVC to vote for the candidates of their choice in the 2019 general elections.
The president gave the charge at the breaking of fast with members of the judiciary led by Justice Okukayode Ariwoola, Justice of the Supreme Court, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the call had become imperative so as to enable eligible Nigerians to obtain their PVC and vote anybody of their choice devoid of religion or ethnicity.
President Buhari's Return Will Teach Nigerians Sense | Legit.ng TV