Lai Mohammad, minister of information and culture, says looters of public funds are now burying money in cemeteries and in deep forests.
He said this in a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, his spokesman, on Sunday.
He said the whistle-blower policy had led to the recovery of looted funds in many currencies that might not have been discovered, describing it as an effective tool of fighting corruption in Nigeria.
In the statement, Mohammed said the policy had also shown the depth of support among Nigerians for the fight against corruption.
He therefore thanked Nigerians for the enthusiasm and commitment that they have shown in helping the government to tackle the hydra-headed monster of corruption through the useful leads they have been
providing to appropriate government agencies.
“Since we launched the whistle-blower policy, we have received immeasurable support from Nigerians. Yes, there is 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,” he said.
“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. 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. Thanks to the useful information provided by Nigerians, it is now obvious that more funds are in the possession of looters than are available to government at all levels to meets its obligations, including paying workers’ salaries, providing social amenities, upgrading infrastructure and ensuring the security of lives and property.
“As the looters continue to run helter-skelter, many of them are even abandoning their booty at unusual places, including airports. We want to assure Nigerians that we will not abandon this policy for whatever reason. Instead, we will continue to rejig it to make it more effective as a tool for fighting corruption.”
Mohammed said the recovered looted funds were safe, adding that as soon as the necessary reconciliation process and the litigation in some of the cases were concluded, the government would give a full account of the funds to Nigerians.