The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed revealed that 55 people stole N1.34tr between 2006 and 2013.
The minister made this revelation at the first town hall meeting held in Lagos state on Monday, April 25, 2016.
He said “We launched the campaign in January and we released what some people call a bombshell, that between 2006 and 2013, just 55 people allegedly stole a total of N1.34trn, an amount that is more than one quarter of the 2015 national budget.”
Mohammed also said the government did not abandon the country’s economy to fight corruption.
He said “On the issue of corruption, I’ve heard many commentators say that this administration is fighting corruption without paying attention to the economy. Of course, this is not true.
“But even if it was, it is patently justified. Why? Unless we fight corruption to a standstill, nothing else we do will yield positive results.”
Adding that “It was corruption that prolonged the war against Boko Haram and sent many soldiers and civilians to their early graves. It was corruption that ensured that while oil was selling for over $100 per barrel, we had nothing to show for the windfall.
“It was corruption that gave us darkness instead of light when we supposedly pumped millions of dollars into the power sector. I can tell you today that we are squarely fighting corruption and we are winning. The situation is serious and no government can fight the battle alone. That explains why we have launched a nationwide sensitization campaign to make Nigerians to join the anti-graft war.”
Mohammed said “Even if just one-third of the stolen fund is recovered, it will provide us with 6 Lagos Ibadan express ways and in addition, it will build 183 schools to educate 3,974 children from primary to tertiary education, also 36 modern hospitals. The money that was originally stolen represents the total earning s of four African nations.
“The funds meant to buy arms and ammunition for our soldiers to fight Boko Haram was shared out by few people for political purposes. What is remarkable in all of this is that no one who has been named to have shared in the money has denied it. All they have done is give very ridiculous excuses for what they did. All of must be part of the war; its not Buhari’s war, its not APC’s war, its Nigeria’s survival war.”
The minister has also alleged that vandals are responsible for the poor power supply situation in the country.