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Information minister slams PDP as another anti-corruption platform takes off



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Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has civil society organisations to work with the media and other stakeholders to ensure Nigerians never forget the damage looters did to the nation.

Mohammed said this while launching the Anti-Corruption Situation Room, ACSR, which brings togethers civil society organisations, media groups, government agencies in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, those who turned the treasury to their piggy bank are once again presenting themselves as the saviours of the nation.

“They say the best time for Nigeria was when the proceeds of their corruption subsidized many and gave the illusion of economic boom. They are so emboldened as to say Nigerians are earnestly yearning for them. No contrition. No apologies. No shame. Just sheer bravado. Unbridled arrogance. Revisionism,’ he said.

”The Civil Society, the media and indeed all stakeholders owe it a duty not to allow Nigerians to forget, to say ‘Never Again’ to those who view Nigeria as nothing but a cash cow to be milked to death,” he said.

He said the formation of the ACSR could not have come at a better time, as the Buhari Administration’s fight against corruption is gaining momentum.

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”But there is a challenge: There seems to be a feeling of numbness among the citizens about the conduct of those whose actions brought us here, those who looted the national treasury dry. Suddenly, these same people are engaging in revisionist history and blaming everyone but themselves for the mess their actions put the country into,” he said.

Reeling out the cost of corruption to the nation, the minister listed the conversion to a slush fund of the $2.1 billion meant to buy weapons for the Nigerian military to fight Boko Haram; the fact that country could only generate 2,690 megawatts as at 29 May 2015 despite spending billions of dollars on power and the failure of past governments to save for the rainy day, even when oil was selling above $100 a barrel for many years.

Amongst the gains of the APC anti-corruption war he listed are raising the country’s foreign reserves from $23 billion to $38 billion; stoppage of the payment of phantom subsidy of between 800 billion and N1.3 trillion; and the recovery of at least $43 million and 56 houses from just one official of the immediate past Administration.

He also mentioned the recovery of $2.9 billion from looters so far; the whistle-blower policy which has led to the recovery of $151 million and N8 billion in looted funds from just three sources; the elimination of thousands of ghost workers, which has saved the nation N120 billion and the elimination of the N108 billion in maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA.

He commended those behind the formation of the ACSR as a platform to build synergy among anti-corruption CSOs, the labour movement, the law enforcement agencies, the Parliament and the judiciary.