The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has stated that the outcome of an audit ordered by the federal government into the books of 15 revenue-generating agencies from 2010 to 2015 when Goodluck Jonathan was President showed “a bigger case” than his earlier alarm that just 55 people stole a total of N1.34 trillion of public funds between 2006 and 2013.
The minister, according to a statement issued by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi, spoke on Monday while featuring as the Special Guest of Honour during the commissioning of the channelization, de-silting, flood control and development of Okoko and Ogbagba Rivers, Phases I & II in Osogbo town, Osun state.
His words, “Recall that in 2016, while launching the Federal Government’s National Sensitization Campaign against corruption, we did say that between 2006 and 2013, just 55 people stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira of public funds. We said, using the World Bank rates and costs, that one third of the stolen funds could have provided 635.18 kilometres of road; built 36 ultra modern hospitals, built 183 schools; educated 3,974 children from primary to tertiary level and built 20,062 units of 2-bedroom houses.
“Today, there is even a bigger case. Recently, the Federal Government ordered an audit (between 2010 and 2015) of 15 government revenue generating agencies. The result was the discovery that the agencies had not remitted over 8.1 trillion Naira to the Federation Account. This amount is about six times the 1.34 trillion Naira that was stolen between 2006 and 2015. It is also the equivalent, on the average, of the country’s yearly national budget! Imagine, for a moment, how many kilometres of roads could have been constructed, how many kilometres of rail tracks that could have been laid, and how many modern hospitals and schools that could have been built if that money had been properly accounted for.
“This is why we will not stop talking about those who have looted the public treasury, despite the pushback from their apologists. If we do not stop the looting of the treasury, there will be no money for the kind of projects we are commissioning here in Osogbo today,” Mohammed stated.