N540b Recovered So Far Via Whistleblowers, Says Mohammed
•Senators ask EFCC to reflate economy with forfeited items
N540b Recovered So Far Via Whistleblowers, Says Mohammed – Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) has so far recovered over N540 billion through the whistleblower policy, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed.
He made the disclosure yesterday at the 71st General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) in Port Harcourt.
Represented by the Director, Public Relations and Protocol in the ministry, Sunny Adejoh Baba, the minister said the anti-graft agency also successfully launched a major onslaught on corrupt high-profile citizens, including senior military officers and their civilian accomplices, leading to the recovery of choice assets nationwide.
“To this end, as at May this year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through the Whistle Blower Policy, recovered over N527 billion, $53 million, and £122,890,” he said.
The minister enjoined the media to align itself with the policies and programmes of the Muhammadu Buhari administration geared at ridding the country of corruption to free funds for developmental projects for the benefit of Nigerians.
Admitting that the gathering held at an auspicious time in view of the coming elections, Mohammed charged broadcasting organisations not to avail their platforms for hate speeches and fake news.
He urged them to promote the unity, stability and development of the nation.
The minister restated government’s commitment to press freedom, even as it expects the media to be guided by national interest.
Mohammed said the launch of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Jos in April 2016 underscored the current administration’s determination to democratize the rights to knowledge and information.
He noted that the changing media landscape and advent of digital technology had fundamentally altered the nature and function of media in the society.
The government’s spokesman urged the outfits in the broadcasting value-chain to take advantage of the market and build local stations that would not only create employment for the teeming population, but also transfer technology and free the creative dexterity of the youths.
In a related development, the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes has charged the anti-graft body to reflate the economy by disposing of all forfeited items in its care.
The panel chairman, Chukwuka Utazi, made the call yesterday in Abuja during a visit to EFCC’s office.
He lamented that the commission was yet to be funded seven months after the opening of the building, as only 10 percent of its budget had been released.