The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Thursday that his ministry recovered N18.1billion of looted public funds in 2016.
The minister, who was silent on the individuals and institutions from who the money was recovered, said efforts were on to recover more this year.
“We have made progress in the recovery of looted funds. Last year, over N15billion and $10.5m were recovered,” Malami said.
The AGF spoke in Abuja while playing host to members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, who were in the Federal Ministry of Justice in furtherance of their oversight function.
He said Federal Government’s efforts to effectively prosecute the anti-corruption war and recover more looted funds were being hampered by the legislature’s delay in the passage of relevant bills such as the Proceeds of Crime Act and the need for autonomy for the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
He noted that the absence of these important laws informed why the country was not yet admitted as a member of the Financial Action Task force.
The minister, who gave details of his ministry implementation of last year’s Appropriation Act, said it performed well despite the paucity of funds.
He said of the N3, 921,612,815 allocated to the ministry in last year’s budget, N3, 723,833,877 has so far been released, from which it has expended N3, 672,730,661.16 as at December 31, 2016 on personnel and non-regular allowances.
The Senate Committee’s Chairman, Senator David Umar, assured the minister of the committee willingness to assist the ministry surpass its last year’s performance.
He said works were ongoing on the bills mentioned by the minister.