Faith Aghaeze, Abuja
The Presidential Advisory Committee against corruption , PACAC, has task Parastatals under the ministry on Information to educate the public the more on the fight against corruption .
Chairman of the committee , Prof. Itse Sagay , while on courtesy visit to the minister of information , Alh. Lai Mohammed , pledge to play a vital role in the fight against corruption.
While describing the minister as a proactive , indiscipline and remarkable man , who anticipated the Peoples Democratic , PDP plans, by exposing their secrets ” the PDP were discourage of doing evil by Lai mohammed ”
On parastatals under the ministry , ” we are here because we think the parastatals under the ministry are going to play a vital role in the fight against corruption in education the public”
” We expect NTA , FRCN and others to organise jingles ,inspirational script so that people will know the important of this fight”
” It is not the government that is suffering but the masses, this is the major reason we are here”
In his reply , the minister, commend the media, which have played a major role in disseminating necessary information about the campaign to the people, and have also provided a feedback to the government.
He said a key strategy they have adopted in the campaign is to strip corruption of its previous abstract status by putting a face to it. “we are emphasizing and highlighting the cost of corruption to the lives of Nigerians. When we revealed that 55 people allegedly stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira between 2006 and 2013 – a figure that has been independently confirmed by a Civil Society Organization, Media Rights Agenda, our intention was not to villify anyone but to show to Nigerians how funds that could have been used to provide infrastructure and upgrade educational and health facilities, for example, have been looted. We did say, for example, that if just one third of that amount had been recovered, we would have been able to construct about five Lagos-Ibadan Expressways; would have built one ultra-modern hospital in each of the 36 states, would have built 20,062 housing units and 183 schools, as well as educate 3,974 children up to tertiary level at the cost of 25.24 million Naira per child.”
” We also said the reason that many of our troops were killed in the fight against Boko Haram, thus creating hordes of widows and orphans, and many of our compatriots were forced into IDP camps, is because the 2.1 billion dollars meant to procure weapons for the troops were diverted to other uses. These are the true costs of corruption” his word
He said ” some have picked issues with the figures we have been quoting, wondering whether we have verified them before giving them out. Others have said the figures were aimed at whipping up emotions. Our response is that anyone who cares enough to seek such information will find out that the figures are neither new nor concocted. They are in the public domain. Those involved are being prosecuted in our courts, and the names of the specific courts and the prosecutors are available. We did not identify the accused by name because that was not the purpose of the information we gave out. Some have said we only mentioned those being prosecuted in the PDP, and that we did not mention those at the state levels. This is not true as the 55 people cut across various political parties, in addition to being from federal, state and local governments, as well as the private sector.
“Another issue that has been raised against the anti-graft efforts is that the government is not following the rule of law. We also reject this claim, because the mere fact that those accused have been having their day in court is a testimony to the fact that this Administration is prosecuting the war with a strict adherence to the rule of law. Countries around the world have devised several ways to tackle the menace, depending on the gravity of the situation or the urgency they attach to efforts to stamp out corruption. Some suspended their constitutions and resorted to emergency laws, while some resorted to the use of special courts. We have done none of this, even when we know that this is a battle of survival.”