Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said proceeds from past crude oil sales were diverted to personal accounts rather than reaching government coffers.
In a wide ranging interview on Wednesday, the 73 year old former military ruler who won April elections after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket, said Nigerian authorities had seen documents suggesting funds had been stolen.
“We have some documents where Nigerian crude oil was lifted illegally and the proceeds were put into some personal accounts instead of the federal government accounts,” said Buhari.
We have some documents where Nigerian crude oil was lifted illegally and the proceeds were put into some personal accounts instead of the federal government accounts
Africa’s biggest economy is facing its worst economic crisis in years, since it relies on oil exports for about 58 percent of government revenue. The sharp fall in oil prices over the past year has hit those revenues hard.
The president said stolen money had already been recovered by the government. He did not disclose the sums involved and said he could not provide more details because various cases were being taken to court.
A former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is under investigation as part of a crackdown on corruption in the oil industry. She has denied any wrongdoing.
Buhari’s latest comments suggested other officials might also be named.
A 2013 investigation by former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi raised questions about the alleged disappearance of about $20 billion in oil revenues.