Okonjo-Iweala Reveals: 4 Methods Corrupt Nigerians Use To Steal Nigeria's Money ! LagosloadedOkonjo-Iweala Reveals: 4 Methods Corrupt Nigerians Use To Steal Nigeria's Money ! Lagosloaded
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Okonjo-Iweala Reveals: 4 Methods Corrupt Nigerians Use To Steal Nigeria’s Money

By JUMI RHODES

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has given an insight into how corrupt leaders have looted Nigeria’s treasury over the years. Okonjo-Iweala, who served in the last administration as Coordinating Minister of the Economy, revealed this in her book ‘Reforming The Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria'{originally published in 2012}. As excerpted from the book are 4 methods the former minister reveals leaders and public officials loot Nigeria’s money:

CORRUPTION ON A GRAND SCALE: THEFT OF PUBLIC ASSETS BY HIGH PUBLIC OFFICIALS

“On September 15, 2005, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha(now deceased), (then) governor of the Nigerian state of Bayelsa, was who was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport and interrogated on allegations of money laundering by officers of the London Metropolitan Police’s Specialist and Economic Crime Unit. From the airport he was taken to his home in the Paddington area of London. A search of the home resulted in the discovery of the equivalent of 920,000 pounds… In all, he was charged with laundering more than 1.8million pounds. He asserted his innocence. He was granted bail, pending trial. He then jumped bail and escaped from the UK disguised as a woman. He fled to Nigeria, where the constitution grants governors, presidents, and vice presidents immunity from prosecution while in office.”

CORRUPTION FROM THE TOP: THEFT OF PUBLIC ASSETS BY A FORMER DICTATOR

“In August 2004, authorities in Switzerland accepted the argument of Nigeria’s lawyers that an Abachar-run criminal organization existed whose purpose was to engaged in the looting and laundering of Nigerian public funds….In the five years of Abacha’s rule, an estimated US$3billion to US$5billion of Nigeria’s public assets were looted and sent abroad by Abacha, his family, and their associates. At the upper end of the range, the amount stolen is larger than the 2006 education and health federal budgets combined..

Of the amount stolen, more than US$2.2billion was carted away from the Central Bank of Nigeria in truckloads of cash in the form of foreign currency and travelers checks… Another classic method of corruption practiced by the Abacha criminal organization involved contract inflation. One particularly odious case was a Nigerian Family Support Program contract for Pasteur Merieux vaccines. The US$111 million contract was awarded to Morgan Procurement Ltd, a company belonging to the Abacha family. The true value of the vaccines was US$22.5million.”

CORRUPTION FROM WITHIN: CORRUPTION BY FOREIGN COMPANIES AND THEIR DOMESTIC PARTNERS IN CRIME

“Nigeria is replete with accounts of such corrupt and corrupting behavior by foreign companies. Siemens, to its credit, admitted paying 10 million euros to Nigeria government officials between 2001 and 2004 to facilitate contract awards. Sometime in 1994, the TSKJ consortium made a bid to provide services to a US$12 billion LNG gas project in Nigeria. This initial bid was not accepted. … In December 1995, TSKJ was awarded a US$2billion contract for the Nigerian LNG proect. Years later, evidence was produced that the TSKJ group had internally discussed making payments of about US$180million to various foreign accounts of Nigerian officials to help TSKJ obtain its lucrative contract.”

CORRUPTION FROM THE BOTTOM: PRIVATE INTIMIDATION

“A systemic rot has befallen Nigeria’s once-solid system of public tertiary education… Tales abound of public health workers asking for under-the-table payments for services and diverting hospital supplies, drugs, and equipment to the privae clinics. Nigeria is bedeviled by very poor provision of public services in education and health, largely because of corruption and undermining of institutions by a small percentage of the population.

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