The Federal Government of Nigeria has recovered 40 vehicles including brand new SUVs and other brands, in possession of a former Federal Permanent Secretary.
The revelation was made on Thursday by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while explaining President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategy in the fight against corruption in the country.
He said this while reacting to criticisms that the anti-corruption war lacks strategy.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the Minister said the strategy has proven so effective that it has led to, the recovery of the cars from the Permanent Secretary, among other things.
He explained that the federal government is not just fixated on prosecution alone but is also taking preventive measures to make corruption unattractive.
The minister listed the strict enforcement of the Treasury Singles Account (TSA), which has largely reduced the diversion of government funds into various secret accounts, and the constant fishing out of ghost workers in the public service, which many states are now adopting, as some of the preventive measures against corruption.
He however stated that some other measures have been perfected to strengthen the anti-corruption fight, adding that the measures include the establishment of the Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery and the Asset Tracing Committee; the setting up of an Asset Register, and the Whistle Blower Policy.
Furthermore, he explained that the recently approved Whistle Blower policy is designed to further enhance government’s effort to recover looted funds, stating: “People who give credible and useful information to government that leads to recovery of stolen public assets, will be rewarded with between 2.5% – 5% of the recovered fund and government will keep the identity of the whistle blower absolutely confidential”.
Mr Mohammed also announced the plan by the government, through the Code of Conduct Bureau, to commence in 2017, a trial run of electronic asset declaration, in order to facilitate compliance and also to search and retrieve data on the assets of public officers.
In addition, he said, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption is working with relevant MDAs, especially the National Bureau of Statistics, to improve data collection on corruption indicators generally.
“Once perfected, the data will be shared with government periodically, if possible as regularly as government receives data on inflation and unemployment trends, to indicate trends in corruption and influence government measures to correct the situation before it gets out of hand as we have now,” Mr Mohammed said.