Nigeria’s treasury looters now bury stolen funds in the forests and in graveyards, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Sunday.
Mr. Mohammed, who claimed the government has been inundated with information on the new methods of hiding stolen funds, also noted the whistleblowing policy is working perfectly.
While saying the policy has led to the recovery of more looted funds, the minister did not, however, disclose how much has been recovered through whistleblowing.
But he assured all the recovered looted funds were safe and the government will give a full account to Nigerians in due time.
The minister thanked Nigerians for their enthusiasm and commitment in helping the government to tackle corruption through disclosure of useful leads to appropriate government agencies.
“Since we launched the whistleblower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians.
“Yes, there is a monetary reward for any information that leads to recovery of looted funds, but from what we have seen, most of the Nigerians who have come forward with useful leads were driven by patriotism rather than reward.
”Nigerians, fired by a fervid resolve to help banish corruption from their country, have daily inundated the offices of the appropriate government agencies with valuable information,” Mr. Mohammed said.
“We have been told how looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, in deep forests and even in burial grounds.
”Thanks to whistle-blowers, it is now clear that a rapacious few have pillaged the nation’s wealth through a vicious orgy of corrupt practices.”
The minister, however, noted that more funds were in the possession of looters than were available to the government at all levels to meets its obligations including paying workers’ salaries and providing social amenities.
He stressed that the government will not abandon the policy for whatever reason, but will continue to rejig it and make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption.
As soon as the necessary reconciliation and the litigation in some of the cases were concluded, Mr. Mohammed said the government would give a full account of the recovered looted funds.
He, however, reiterated the government will continue to protect whistleblowers and give them due reward.