The scale of the theft indulged in over the last forty years by the Nigerian ruling-class is almost unbelievable.

An estimated £220 Billion was said to be spirited away between independence in 1960 and the return to civilian rule in 1999.

That is as much as all the western aid given to Africa in almost four decades. The looting of Africa’s most populous country amounted to a sum equivalent to 300 years of British aid for the continent.

The figures, compiled by Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission, provide dramatic evidence of the problems facing next month’s summit in Gleneagles of the G8 group of wealthy countries which are under pressure to approve a programme of debt relief for Africa.