Nigeria’s Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, yesterday said the level of corruption during the past administration (PDP) was so bad that 55 people stole an amount that was equivalent to a quarter of the 2015 budget.
Speaking in Lagos at a town hall meeting organised by the federal government, Lai Mohammed said it’s not true that the government has been concentrating on its war against corruption at the expense of other crucial sectors of the economy, he argued that nothing else would work in the country unless corruption is fought to a standstill.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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