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Corruption: Don’t judge us by conviction figure – FG

Doorsuu Iwambe, Abuja

The Federal Government says it will be unfair for Nigerians to measure its achievements in the fight against corruption by the number of convictions it has secured.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Monday when he featured on a live TVC news programme: “This Morning” monitored in Abuja.

Mohammed said that the Buhari administration has succeeded in laying enduring foundation for fight against corruption through sustainable policies, including the Single Treasury Account (TSA) and whistle blower policy.

He said that with this solid foundation, the fight against corruption will remain the bedrock of this administration in the next four years.

“Under this administration, we insisted and have succeeded in ensuring that all payments and revenues are paid into the TSA. Before we came in, the federal government had over 2, 000 different accounts in various banks which resulted in paying several billions on Naira in charges.

“The government then also never had an idea of how much it had as revenue.

Today, over N9.3 trillion has gone into the TSA and that is why it is possible for us to invest especially in the area of infrastructure and social investment programmes,” he said.

The minister said with the TSA savings, the government spent unprecedented N2.7 trillion on development of infrastructure in 2017 and 2018 and also introduced accountability in spending of government resources.

He stated that the whistle blower policy has helped in blocking corruption and the recovery of looted funds, adding that the government has so far, recovered several billions of Naira and about $53 million through the policy alone.

He said the administration’s fight against corruption has been recognized abroad with the AU recognition of President Muhammadu Buhari as the champion of anti-corruption.

The minister said that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also recognized the efforts of the administration in fighting corruption.

“When we say the fight against corruption is successful is because we have laid the foundation that would make it difficult for people to engage in the evil act.

For us success of the fight against corruption is the fact that we have driven corruption under the table and make it unattractive as it was before.

“Those who are corrupt are doing so with the fear of the law. It will be progressively become more and more difficult in Nigeria for corruption to be attractive,” he said

On the allegation that the government’s anti-corruption fight was against perceived enemies and opposition, the minister said it was a misconception, insisting that “we had 16 years of unbroken rule by the PDP so the likely people who will be accused of misuse of resources should be the people who were in charge.

“We also have some former governors who decamped to APC who have also been convicted,” warning that the anti-corruption fight would be frontal in the next four years of the Buhari administration.

Also, the minister added that the international community has expressed satisfaction with the economy reform programmes of Buhari’s administration, especially for nurturing the nation’s economy from recession to sustainable growth.

He said based on his interactions with international think-tanks and influential media organizations in Washington and London, said they were happy with the agenda of the administration at reforming the economy.

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