The Muhammadu Buhari-led Government says it has recovered over N3.2bn (£6,324,627.66) of looted funds from various countries within a year.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made this known on Thursday during the monthly Ministerial Briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Malami stated that the stolen monies were recovered from March 2021 to May 2022 and have been disbursed into key infrastructure projects nationwide.
The minister stated that the recovered loot included the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Road and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The minister also said the federal government raised N1.82bn from the sale of bid forms and the actual sale of forfeited properties in the first 18 months of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Malami, who said the Justice Ministry had backed the federal government in various infrastructure funding agreements, regretted that Nigeria currently faces an N329bn funding gap.
The AGF added that an inter-ministerial committee on the audit and recovery of back years on stamp duty had so far recovered N596,055,479.47.
Paris Club Deductions
In another development, Malami slammed state governors for refuting over $418m deductions from the Paris Club refund paid to consultants they hired.
The minister declared that the governors originally created the liability whose payment they had also indemnified.
He explained that when the Nigeria Governors’ Forum requested the refund, one of the conditions was the settlement of the consultants it engaged.
He noted that when the refund was paid to the states, a part payment was also made to the consultants. But the governors eventually halted payment, requesting an out-of-court settlement instead.
According to Malami, the governors’ decision promoted a request to President Muhammadu Buhari to disburse the payments.
He explained that the request was forwarded to the Office of the Attorney-General for its legal counsel and no elements of fraud were involved after running the required checks.
Malami asserted the indemnity of the governors was also sought and received, hence the payment of the money.