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More shocking corruption reports says govt

Ritics of the Muhammadu Buhari government's anti-corruption crusade yesterday got a response - the war wills halt.

Minister of Culture Lai Mohammed and Information said Nigerians ought to be ready for more mind boggling revelations in the 2015 and 2014 report, which is yet to be released.

The minister said they should inquire the information he provided to understand if it was authentic or not for all those questioning the claims.

"Let's talk more regarding the cost of corruption. Have you found that whereas the national budget in Nigeria has increased from just over N900 billion in 1999 to finished N6 trillion in 2016, poverty has additionally increased nearly by the same proportion? The reason just isn't far fetched: Appropriated funds have mostly ended up in the pockets of a few looters."

He added: "Do you understand that What has so far been shown as per taking in the Dasukigate is about N54.8billion Whereas, in the whole 2015 all the zonal intervention act cost N52 billion. Here is the cost of corruption for you personally.

When the cash supposed to construct roads is looted, the final result is that the roads aren't built and the people suffer as well as die in avoidable road accidents. We are perpetually sentenced to darkness, when the cash meant to provide electricity is looted. When the money meant for health care is pocketed by a few, we are not able to reduce maternal and infant mortality. All these really are the costs of corruption. Let's not only talk about corruption in the abstract, let's be counting its cost to our lives as a way to drive home the point that corruption must be tackled decisively for Nigerians to feel the impact of governance."

Mohammed spoke of two courts of corruption - the court of public opinion and the court of law. "The court of public opinion is, in addition, as important as the court of law," he said.

Mohammed raised the alarm that treasury looters had resorted to fighting back, using various means.

But he assured the nation that the administration will not give in to their distractions.

The government, he said, has achieved what it set out to achieve, which will be to sensitise Nigerians to the evil of corruption.

He said: "Well, I could let you know today that corruption is fighting back, and it's fighting hard and dirty. Sponsored posts have started appearing in the papers as well as in the social networking while 'Talking Heads' have began making the rounds in the electronic media, all deriding this Administration as good as the fight against corruption. Not stopping there, they have been creating distractions by sponsoring posts in both local and international media to deride the Administration's policies typically, tag the President a budding fascist and even write off his 2016 budget. We understand that the only intent of the assaults would be to distract attention from your war on corruption.

"It's saddening that some otherwise credible voices have unwittingly let themselves to be railroaded into the bandwagon of pro-corruption orchestra. They participate in sophistry to try and beat up Nigerians from the anti-corruption battle. One hack writer even said the disclosure that 55 Nigerians purportedly stole no rage was triggered by N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013 among Nigerians! A disclosure that played widely in the international media made the front page in more than a dozen Nigerian newspapers and brought the attention of the world's most powerful country and world-wide financial institutions are unable to be dismissed with a wave of the hand.

"Also, one of people who benefited from the Dasukigate even had the temerity to deride the anti-corruption war as 'discerning', when in saner climes he should have already been so ashamed of himself that he could have apologised to the nation and hunkered down...for good. These sponsored attacks are not about to stop. In reality, they will become much more organized and more intense in the days ahead. Nevertheless, the great PM News is that we're winning the war. Nigerians are actually talking more about corruption. Nigerians are now counting the cost of corruption to their lives.

"We call on Nigerians never to be taken in by the antics of the sponsored denunciation of the anti-graft war. The treasury looters, who've so much resources in their pot, as well as their cohorts will throw everything but the kitchen sink as of this Government, But we have no doubt that Nigerians are discerning enough to know the truth which, in the words of President Muhammadu Buhari, is that unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.

"This Government will neither be diverted nor intimidated by anyone into giving up or weakening the struggle against corruption, which can be a war of survival for our state. The fight will not be stopped by any level of media or other assaults. The pseudo-analysts and hack writers will labour in vain in heir quest to stop the train of the anti-corruption fight."

The minister said the info on corruption was meant to sensitise the nation on the evil of corruption.

"Let me restate, for emphasis, that when we give examples of mind boggling acts of corruption, our intention is not to vilify anyone but to sensitise Nigerians as to how harmful corruption is to the nation and also the people. The truth is that what we have revealed so far is nothing but the tip of the iceberg. Nigerians should remain tuned for more shocking revelations in the days ahead."

On why the details he gave on alleged treasury looters didn't contain 1999-2005, he explained the compilation covered only periods when the anti-corruption law became completely operational and that was around 2006.

The minister said by time the facts of 2014 and 2015 are released, the country will probably be shocked.

His words: "When we make subsequent disclosures, you'll be more shocked than you are now."

The government has been criticized for trampling on the rights of accused people or disobeying court orders. Mohammed differed.

He explained: "What are we even talking about? Is the human right of the 55 men more important than human rights of 170 Nigerians? But again, allow me to make it clear that we usually do not disobey court orders".

He explained the simplest method will be to go to the court or the EFCC to find out who they are as they all have one pending case or the other in the court when prodded to supply info on the 55 individuals.

He also decried the situation where it takes about seven or more years to prosecute the "so called powerful" people.

On the function of the judiciary in the struggle against corruption, the minister reiterated his earlier appeal that both Bench and the Bar should see the struggle as a national campaign.

He said " and I will assure you that we have formed a demo Along With the judiciary is willing and able to cooperate with us. So we realize that judiciary is vital, and we are reaching out to them, we are appealing to them to understand that there are several structural reforms that need to take place and we are working on them.

"On our own component too, we make sure that when the management of legal justice is actualised, it's going to reduce the duration of time it takes now to prosecute a case because under that law, I believe the most time allowed for adjournment is two."

Nigeria: New Nigerian Publishes Special Edition in Sardauna's Memory

The New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN) Ltd, publishers of the New Nigerian group of papers, published a special edition Friday in memory of its founder, the late Premier of Northern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello who died on January 15, 1966; just two weeks after creating the newspaper on January 1, 1966. Is the lead headline, In Memoriam, with all 50th Commemoration of the death of Premier of the defunct northern Area, the rider Sir Ahmadu Bello; using a large image of the hero in his trademark dress.

Substantially as the management and staff of the NNN made a statement of honouring the mythical creator of the paper by coming up with the special version, their expectations from present leaders of the North were cut short. Lately, the 50th commemoration of the passing on of the late Sardauna was held in the North in attendance and part of the programme with eminent personalities in Arewa House in Kaduna was the introduction of some variations of the New Nigerian published for the occasion. The idea was to raise money for NNN to commence operations.

And so, about three hundred copies of NNN edition were rolled out. However, the result was not the first goal as the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai merely enjoined folks to buy the special publication, saying that it's details of the life and Premium Times of the late Sardauna. Daily Trust on Sunday consequently gathered that the copies sold in the occasion weren't up to 40 (at N300 each), while the remaining copies were given out to the vendors.

It would be recalled the workers of NNN stopped creation since January 2013 following the inability of the direction to continue paying their salaries. Workers were owed several months of salaries and other entitlements along with the explanation for the default was said to be operational. Since that time, there have been repeated efforts to revitalize the business to no accessible First, two editions: New Nigerian Weekly and New Nigerian on Sunday were suspended. Even the daily edition was printing less than 2,000 copies.

In addition, the management removed some 'redundant' staff but did not pay their benefits to them. Now, Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the months of unpaid wages and cease of work influenced on the staff. Later on, the Joint Workers Consultative Union of the New Nigerian Paper (NNN), Kaduna called off the 31-month strike which began on January 22, 2013. A statement to that effect was signed by Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Chairman NNN Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Bulus Shabayan, Chairman National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPPROW) NNN Chapel. The workers said they had concluded to resume duty. But upon the management as well as the workers not supplied resumption of obligation, contents for work managed to commence on-line publication. And because NNN was clearly one of the foremost heritages of the late Sardauna as well as the duty of the 19-state Northern governments, attempts were made by the workers and management to re-launch it to businesses during the 50th commemoration of his death. However, the move was unsuccessful.

Among the workers of NNN who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday said that the move to boost funds for NNN at the 50th commemoration of the demise of Sardauna has failed, it'll be back to status quo and the struggle will continue. He explained the claims and counterclaims between the workers and also the management and between the workers and the 19 Northern authorities will also continue. According to him, if any ceremony demands and project its interest and related to Sardauna cannot give the attention that was required to NNN, he wondered what else can. On whether the governors and dignitaries understood they were to raise money he said because it had been in the programme they ought to have understood.

Nigeria: airline takeover, Press awash with Buhari's vacation, trial of senate president

The five days holiday taken by President Muhammadu Buhari, Supreme Court's nod for the trial of senate president and the state takeover of Aero Contractor airline led many Nigerian papers on Saturday.National Mirror described that eight months after he took over power from former President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday continued on holiday.

It said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would perform the functions of the President." style="max-width:420px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;">Nation is excited the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Friday got the green light in the Supreme Court to continue together with the 13-count bogus asset announcement charge brought against Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Vanguard said President Buhari has shown that his government has within three months saved N2.2 trillion for the state through the enforcement of the Treasury Single Account, TSA.

As issues of poor power supply, lack of facilities, surplus billings, dearth of others and care remain Guardian said, Nigerians have questioned the rationale behind the increase in electricity tariff.

Daily Independent said Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, will hold a joint meeting with leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and top executives of Electricity Supply Businesses next week to avert the planned picketing of the Discos by members of the NLC.

This Day reported that the assumption of complete possession of Aero Contractors, a superior airline in Nigeria, will not influence its flight operations, as Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), takes over the airline as a result of debt.

As they participated the vandals who were armed to the teeth, the Sun reported that five military personnel deployed to checkmate conduit~line vandals at Abule area of Ikorodu, Lagos State were killed in the first hours of Friday.


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