The Federal Government may have subtly accused former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan’s administrations of aiding and abetting corruption during their tenures.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammaed in Abuja on Monday, alleged that between 2006 and 2013, over N1.34 trillion was stolen by 55 public and private persons in the country.
At a press briefing for the flag off of the National Sensitization Campaign against Corruption, Mohammed said those who allegedly stole these funds were former governors, public servants, bankers, contractors and businessmen.
He said; “The situation is dire and the time to act is now. For example, between the period 2006 and 2013, just 55 people allegedly stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira in Nigeria. That’s more than a quarter of last year’s national budget! Out of the stolen funds, 15 former Governors allegedly stole 146.84 billion naira; 4 former
Ministers allegedly stole 7 billion naira; 12 former Public Servants, both at federal and state levels, allegedly stole over 14 billion Naira; 8 people in the Banking Industry allegedly stole 524 billion Naira; while 11 businessmen allegedly stole 653 billion naira.
“Now, what does these figures (sic) translate to in the actual sense. In other words, what is the cost of these stolen funds for Nigerians.
“Using World Bank Rates and Costs, one third of the stolen funds could have provided 635.18 kilometres of road; built 36 ultra modern hospitals, that is one ultra modern hospital per state; built 183 schools; educated 3,974 children from primary to tertiary level at 25.24 million per child; and built 20,062 units of 2-bedroom houses. This is the money that a few people, just 55 in number, allegedly stole within a period of just eight years. And instead of a national outrage, all we hear are these nonsensical statements that the Government is fighting only the opposition, or that the government is engaging in vendetta.”
According to him, the anticorruption war was without party colouration and region as he stressed “irrespective of your political, religious or tribal leanings, and not minding whether you belong to the APC, PDP, SDP or Labour Party, if you have stolen public funds, you must not go scot-free.
“Everyone and every arm of government must rise up to be counted in this epic war, and defeat is not an option if our country is to survive. As President Muhammadu Buhari likes to say, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. There is no better way to say it.
“As I said, everyone and every arm of government must be involved in the fight against corruption, which is one of the cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration. Irrespective of what anyone may say, President Buhari is leading this fight by example and right from the front. His unparalleled integrity, his uncommon love of country and his undiluted dedication to service all put him in good stead to wage this war, and we must all support him and own the war inorder to ensure its success. This is not Buhari’s war. This is not APC’s war. This is Nigeria’s war.”