Tuesday, August 02, 2016

You can mock our change agenda, but we’re focused - Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has told those mocking the Administration's change agenda that they are focused and undaunted, reports ITRealms.

Speaking at the South-East edition of the Federal Government's Town Hall Meeting in Enugu on Monday, Alhaji Mohammed said ''To those who have been mocking our change agenda, we say let them continue to entertain themselves, but we remain undaunted because this change is irreversible.''

Also, he said Nigeria had no choice but to embrace change, adding that the country cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result.

He noted that even as change is a process and not an instant coffee, it has begun to manifest in many ways, touching on the war against corruption, accountability in governance and the economy, among others.

''Before now, public officials simply opened the public till, took as much money as they wanted and walked away, without consequences! That explains why funds allocated to the military to fight Boko Haram ended up in the piggy banks of many unscrupulous Nigerians. Today, all those who looted the public treasury are being made to answer for their actions, as impunity gives way to accountability.

''Prior to now, funds accruing to the government were paid into so many accounts that even the government could not keep a tab on them, or worse still did not even know the accounts existed. Today, every kobo accruing to the government is paid into a single account, called the Treasury Singles Account (TSA), to be used for the benefit of all Nigerians.

''Before now, thousand of ghosts earned salaries every month. Of course, we all know that ghosts don't work, yet they got paid in this country. Today, the ghosts are in trouble as over 30,000 of them have had their unmerited salaries stopped, saving the country millions and millions of naira. Many more ghosts are being smoked out,'' he said.

The Minister said that emphasis is fast shifting from oil as the Administration moves to diversify the economy away from the product, disclosing that in June 2016, for the very first time, about 70 per cent of the over 500 billion Naira raised from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee came from non-oil sector, while 30 per cent came from the oil sector.

Achike Onayi/GEE
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Pix: Lai Mohammed, Audu Ogbeh and Chris Ngige in Enugu Town Hall meeting

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