In four months, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered over 4.5 billion naira stashed in secret locations across Nigeria. This is a strong indication that the whistle blower policy is working.
Here’s a breakdown of cash recoveries by the EFCC from January till April 2017:
Nothing was recovered.
Cash recovered: $9.8 billion; 74,000 pounds
Owner: Former NNPC Director, Andrew Yakubu
Cash recovered: 49 million naira
Cash recovered: 448,850,000 naira
Cash recovered: 547,730 pounds; 21,090 euros; 5,648,500 naira
Owner: Unknown BDC operator
Cash recovered: 4 billion naira
Owner: Katah properties/Sadiq Air Travel Agency
Cash recovered: $43 million, 27 million pounds, 23 million naira.
In total about 4.5 billion naira, 276 million pounds and approximately 10 million dollars have been recovered from wealthy Nigerians who, for reasons unknown, decided to convert empty stores, underground safes and other ingenious locations to banks.
Our observations about the recovered cash
Whistleblowers are having a field day. Cases of recovered money seem to have increased and may not stop. Whistleblowing may yet be regarded as one of President Buhari’s most potent weapon in the fight against corruption.
From what has been recovered, it is evident that those hiding cash prefer to do so in foreign currency. Considering other factors, the dollar scarcity that hit Nigeria, which became noticeable last year, can be also be attributed to the preference of wealthy businessmen to stash their monies in dollars and pounds, hoping to make quick foreign exchange gain.
Some owners of these monies are refusing to come forward to claim the cash as theirs. Eventually, they are at risk of losing their monies. According to the EFCC, once a court orders a final forfeiture, the monies will go into a consolidated revenue account. Nigerians are hoping that these funds, if they are eventually forfeited, will be used to develop the country’s infrastructure.