The Presidential Committee on the Audit of Recovered Public Assets yesterday told President Muhammad Buhari in the State House that it had recovered N769 billion.
Making the disclosure at a meeting with the president, the Chairman of the three-man committee, Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, said the committee was mandated to audit recovered government assets by government agencies.
This is coming as President Buhari has called on the National Assembly to pass Proceeds of Crimes Bill, saying it will strengthen the administration’s asset recovery mission.
According to Lijadu, the committee obtained access to records, including bank statements and other information from government agencies, banks and other organisations in relation to recovered cash and non-cash public assets.
In his remarks, Buhari pointed out that asset recovery was an integral part of the war against corruption.
He called on the National Assembly to pass Proceeds of Crimes Bill before, saying it will strengthen the administration’s asset recovery mission.
“Once the Bill is passed and assented, many of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice will be adequately taken care of as the bill addresses most of the challenges facing effective asset recovery and management in Nigeria.
“I therefore encourage the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the bill,” he said.
In his submission, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, gave a mini breakdown of the recovered assets.
He said: “The federal government recovered N13.8 billion from tax evaders in May 2018.
“In May 2018, the government paid N439.2million to about 14 whistle blowers who gave specific information on tax evasion.
“Again, N3.8 million, $378million 27,800 pounds were equally recovered from public officials.
“In summary, the recovered funds by the three-man committee is N769 billion naira cash, recovered within the period under review.”