Nigeria is awaiting the return of $200 million from The Netherlands and Switzerland as part of OPL 245 Malabu Oil, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said.
Malami made this known while declaring open a capacity building workshop and interactive session with Judiciary Correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Attorney-General, who gave a score card of the ministry in the past one year, said: “Due to the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration, we facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears from oil companies as part of Federal Government’s Production Sharing Agreement.
“Also recovered within the period is the sum of $311 million from the US and New Jersey, in the third phase of Abacha loot and another $6.3 million Abacha loot from the Republic of Northern Island.”
Malami said the money have been paid into the Federal Government’s treasury for utility development such as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway and Second Niger Bridge in line with agreement reached with the foreign partners.
He further disclosed that over N685 million was recovered through the help of whistle blowers within the last one year, while N500 million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks and barges.
The AGF said a legal framework introduced by the ministry has helped to raise stamp duty collection from a mere total of N22 billion over the years to N66 billion within the last six months of the amendment of the act.
Malami said some bills, which are currently before the National Assembly, including the electronic transaction, electronic evidence act, digital management act and electronic banking act will stimulate the economy when passed into law.
He said: “There are several other acts to regulate emerging digital financial sub sector of the economy.
“Some of these acts will provide for national digital certification authority that will regulate issuance and processing of public and private electronic key validations.
“The expected bills will prepare Nigeria for emerging realities relating to digital cash, bitcom and e-currency.”
Also speaking, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dayo Apata (SAN), said effective coverage of the Justice sector will help prevent injustice in the country.
Apata said: “This should be done by shining the spotlight on the actions of Judges, lawyers and other stakeholders in the justice system.”
He said the growing interest by the public in what the judiciary sector does, necessitated the workshop.
He said: “The public is interested in how the sector handles criminal cases, election litigations, fight against corruption among others.
“The above underscored the importance of the media in creating the much needed awareness that will help shape public opinion and perception.”
Apata said the workshop was organised because of complaints that some news organisations send journalists with little training to cover judiciary, without recourse to the complexities and intricacies of the sector.
He said: “There are also the complaints of sensational reporting, inaccurate presentation of facts or mutilation of context, contempt of court, media trials among others.
“Therefore, it is our hope that this workshop would strengthen the skills of judiciary correspondents to achieve efficient and effective coverage of the sector.”