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Stolen Assets: Buhari Makes U-turn, Says Information Ministry Will Publish Names

*says militants attacks in Niger Delta would not
deter formal engagements with leaders
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
President Mohammadu Buhari has shifted the responsibility of naming the looters of national assets and the details of the loot to the Ministry of Information.

Recall that the president had at various times in the recent times assured Nigerians that he would make public the details of the money recovered from looters during his Democracy Day national address.

But while making the broadcast on Sunday, the president who however acknowledged that some significant amount of assets have already been recovered said that the Ministry would soon give full details.

He said: "We are also engaged in making recoveries of stolen assets some of which are in different jurisdictions. The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered.

"A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery. Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically."

The president said that the funds would be plough back into the national treasuries when forfeiture formalities were completed.

"When forfeiture formalities are completed these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed", he said.

Speaking on the attacks on major oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region, the president also said the government would engage with the leaders of the zone to stop further attacks.

He however said that government would wield the big stick should the militants continue to dare it.

"On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this.

"The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice", he said.

Details later

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