Some eminent Nigerians and experts have faulted the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, over his comments that the EFCC had recovered more than $2 trillion, about N400 trillion, looted from the national treasury in the last 12 years. The Vanguard also reported that those interviewed expressed sadness that no one was in jail for looting the national patrimony.
According to the Vanguard’s investigations, Nigeria has earned about N98.293 trillion since the country started generating revenue from crude oil in 1958.
Findings also revealed that the total revenues generated from oil and non-oil sources since independence in 1960 is estimated to be about N140 trillion. Oil, over the years, has accounted for about 80 per cent of the country’s federal revenue and most of the states depend on federal allocation for survival.
According to the CBN Annual Report and Statement of Account, 2008, Nigeria earned N29.8 trillion from petroleum resources between 1958 and 2007. And between 2008 and 2011, the country generated N20.895 trillion. For the period 2012 to July 2015, the figure stood at N47.542 trillion.
Faulting the figures, a Professor of Political Economy and Management Expert, Professor Pat Utomi, said that there has to be consequences for those the funds were recovered from, to deter future looters.
Utomi said: “I don’t know what to say. If so much money has been recovered, who are the people they recovered it from and why are they not in jail? If you don’t jail them, then you are encouraging people to steal more because they know that the worst that can happen is that you can take some of it from them without any penalty. There must be penalties to deter future actions.”
On his part, the National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin said: “if they recovered $2 trillion in 12 years, from who and whom? Where is the money? The EFCC has been enmeshed in controversy lately over the state of the recovered funds. The former EFCC boss is still being investigated over alleged re-looting of the loot. So, if that is where we are, then, it is a waste of time really and it is a futile exercise.’’