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Anti-graft war not to witch-hunt opposition, says Lai Mohammed

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Lai-MohammedLagos to partner govt on tourism, culture development

MINISTER of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s anti-graft crusade was not to witch-hunt the opposition or any particular person but to expose Nigerians to the cost of corruption.

Mohammed, who said this during a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday, said while the crusade had revealed rots in the system, Nigerians however, “have not shown much anger against the revelation from the anti-corruption war so far.”

Meanwhile, Ambode has expressed his administration’s readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government to improve all Federal Government-owned infrastructures in the state, particularly in the area of culture and tourism.

Mohammed, while fielding questions from reporters at the State House in Ikeja, said that the emphasis was not to ridicule any one or just to talk about the figure of how much has been embezzled, though the figures were dizzying enough.

He said: “Only two days ago, Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan said when they brought N10 billion for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign, he did not open it. He said he only gave it to the Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs. This is quite troubling.

“But more importantly, our government wants Nigerians to know the cost of corruption. The government wants Nigerians to know what we are suffering. When we had a news conference in January and disclosed that 55 people stole N1.343 trillion between 2006 and 2013, what we wanted to emphasise was what one-third of the money would have gone to in Nigeria.

“Using the World Bank rate, we said the money would be able to redevelop Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It will be able to give us one ultra-modern hospital in each state of the federation. In addition, that money would have given 20,000 units of two-bedroom flat. In addition, it will build 183 state-of-the-art schools.

“So, what we are trying to make Nigerians understand is that corruption is eating deep, not just into the fabrics of our morals, but it is preventing development.

Earlier, while receiving the minister, Ambode said Lagos was more than ready to work with the Federal Government in every area, particularly culture and tourism, even as the state prepares to celebrate 50th anniversary next year.

According to him: “I have come to realise that the combination of tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment and sports will do so much to promote Lagos as centre of excellence and that is why we decided to put culture and tourism together as a ministry and we have been pushing that in the area of using it to develop the economy of Lagos.”


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