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2016 budget won’t work if corruption is not tackled – Lai Mohammed

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Lai-Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has identified corruption as the major reason poverty is on the increase despite the steady growth in the amount budgeted for each year since 1999.

He then assured that there will be more money to go round once the vice is successfully tackled.

The minister disclosed this on Monday when he visited two Hausa-language newspapers based in Abuja in continuation of his ongoing consultation with key stakeholders in his ministry to support the campaign against corruption.

According to him, “If only we fight corruption successfully, there will be more money for everybody. If the leakages can be blocked successfully, I can assure you it won’t matter whether oil sells for $10 or $5, we will be able to run this country efficiently.

“If we don’t really take care of corruption, even the 2016 budget, we will not be able to operate because what we have found out is that it is these leakages (corruption) that are making the country to bleed. It is not by accident that between 1999 and today, the budget has been increasing every year yet poverty has also been increasing. Why? Because of corruption.

”In 1999, the entire budget was N947 billion, in 2016, it is N6 trillion. Has poverty gone down? It has increased almost by that margin. The issue of corruption must not be taken lightly. We must fight it as we fought Boko Haram, like we fought Ebola. We must fight it to a standstill,” he said.

Mohammed went on to debunk insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war was an orchestrated vendetta against the main opposition party, insisting that it was a battle to pull Nigeria back from the brink and return the nation to the path of economic growth and sustainable development.

He attributed the decay in infrastructure, grinding poverty, stunted economic growth, widespread inequality, maternal mortality and other maladies afflicting the nation to corruption in governance which, he said, must be fought to a standstill for the country to achieve meaningful development.

 

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After Meeting NGF Chairman, Akpabio Apologies To state Givernors Over N30bn Claim

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has finally apologised to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State over his comment on the N30bn allowance allegedly given to them to cushion the effect of inflation in food prices.

This was coming after the Senate President held a meeting with the NGF Chairman and some of his counterparts in Abuja yesterday.

Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.

The statement has generated controversies in the public space, with some commentators asking governors to come clean about the money they did not collect.

However, on Monday, Akpabio in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, saying the SP held the governors in high esteem.

The statement reads below:

“During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”

Eyiboh added that Akpabio has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

He added, “The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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“I Discourage Young People From Leaving The Country Because Abroad You Get Only 9-5 Jobs, But In Nigeria You Can Wake Up One Day And Become A Minister” — Rotimi Amaechi

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In his words; ‘’I have always discouraged those who want to leave the country. You can always get a 9-5 job when you leave the country but you can never get the opportunity you will get in Nigeria. You can just wake up one day and become a Minister in Nigeria, a governor. It just happens. I don’t know how this country operates. If you are looking for opportunities, please stay back in Nigeria”

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No Community Should Be Asked To Pay For Transformers, Cables, Poles -Minister Warns Discos

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“It is the responsibility of the distribution companies to provide transformers, cables and poles to communities so that power supply can improve.

“A situation where communities buy transformers, cables and poles must stop. I know that you have these centers but how effective are they to ensure that customer complaints are attended to?

“As a minister, I don’t want to hear news of communities being asked to purchase electric transformers, cables and poles. If the consumers are paying for the electricity, then it is the responsibility of the distribution companies to provide these items.

“There must be improvement in power supply. That is what the government planned to do. People should not pay for darkness. When people have a 24-hour power supply, they can pay double for electricity because you have saved them the money to power generators.

“We don’t want to hear the news of communities buying transformers, cables and poles for themselves again. The federal government frowns at it. You see what we have done in Kaduna. Service to our people is paramount. It is the responsibility that Mr. President has placed on us. You are not number one, two or three, you are struggling to be number four on the rating.” -Adebayo Adelabu, Power Minister At Meeting With IEDC Mgt

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