Being The Text of a Press Conference By The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Lagos on
Good afternoon gentlemen. Permit me to thank you most sincerely for
honouring our invitation to this press conference. We have had to
reschedule this meeting a number of times due to our very tight work
schedule. For that, I apologize.
At another press conference we held at this same venue last week,
I did say that it will be a tragedy if the PDP is ever allowed to come
back, especially because our Administration has been working round the clock to take Nigeria out of the hell hole where it was dumped by the
PDP. Then, I dwelt on the progress that the Administration has made in
the area of the economy
Today, I want to focus on the progress we have made in the fight
against corruption which, as you know, is one leg of the tripod on
which our policy sits. The others are the fight against insecurity and
the revamping of the economy. Gentlemen, nothing shows the rot of the
past more than the level of corruption which this Administration
inherited. Our commonwealth was looted with impunity by the same
people who now say they want to come back. Indeed, it will not just be
a tragedy, but a double tragedy, if we ever allow these same people to
preside over our commonwealth.
Where do we start? Do we want a Diezani back as Petroleum
Minister, after the recovery of at least 43 million dollars and 56
houses from this one person?
Do we want the 2.9 billion dollars – that’s about one-eighth of
the 2018 Budget – that has been successfully traced and recovered from
looters by the EFCC since the inauguration of the present
administration, to be re-looted? What about the 151 million dollars
and N8 billion in looted funds that have been recovered from just
three sources as a direct result of the introduction of the
whistle-blower policy? Do we want them to be re-looted?
What about the persistent under-remittance of operating surpluses
by State Owned Entities? Under the PDP, JAMB only remitted an
aggregate of 51 million Naira. In September 2017, the same JAMB
announced it is ready to remit 7.8 billion Naira back to the
Government. Do we want JAMB to go back to remitting 51 million Naira?
In their time, they lacked the political will to implement the
Treasury Single Account (TSA), which they started. We are now fully
implementing the TSA. Three trillion Naira, almost half of the
estimated revenue in the 2018 budget, has accrued to Government with
the enforcement of the TSA policy
There is more: With the elimination of thousands of ghost
workers, we have saved 120 billion Naira. We have removed the 108
billion Naira in maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA; and
monthly we are saving 24.7 billion Naira with our determined
implementation of the TSA.
We must also never forget the alleged diversion of 2.1 billion
dollars earmarked for arms purchase by officials of the immediate-past
As the pace of politics gradually picks up ahead of 2019, it is
important that we let Nigerians know the enormous progress that the
Buhari Administration has made in just a little over two years, and to
also remind them of where the country was dumped by the PDP when we
assumed office on 29 May 2015.
Lest I forget: They recently alleged that our Administration
plans to arrest 50 of their members for alleged corruption. Really?
Are there still up to 50 people in the tottering PDP? Seriously, the
guilty are afraid (according to the title of one of James Hadley Chase
novels). Let those who have plundered our treasury face the music, if
Finally, this Administration is cleaning up the Augean Stable of
the PDP years. It’s been a tough task but we are determined and we are
succeeding. It is a mark of the contempt in which the PDP holds
Nigerians that the party is even talking of returning to power, even
when the rot it left behind is yet to be totally cleared. Never again
must Nigeria be bedeviled by a rapacious, impunity-prone and
plunderous party like the PDP.