Posted by News Express | 18 November 2015 | 3,168 times
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to eradicate corruption from the Nigerian system, insisting also that the funds that have accrued to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) remain intact, challenging anyone who has any fact and figure to the contrary to make such information public.
At a meeting with all Directors and Heads of Units of the Ministry in Abuja on Tuesday, Mohammed reassured Nigerians on the readiness of the present administration to bring about the needed ‘change’ in the country.
According to Mohammed, President Muhammadu Buhari is prepared to lead by example.
“Make no mistake about it; the days ahead will be tough and full of challenges. But if we remain focused, we will succeed. We have a role model in President Muhammadu Buhari, the driver of change.
“Since assuming office, he has shown and demonstrated that Nigeria can join the big league. He has leveraged his legendary personal discipline, transparency, integrity, belief in the rule of law and unparalleled patriotism to put Nigeria on the global map, to show his compatriots that “Nigeria can be great again and to show that what seemed impossible yesterday is now possible, either in the war on terrorism, the fight against corruption, the determination to uplift the economy, to provide jobs for our teeming youths and to ensure life more abundant for all Nigerians.”
He, however, impressed it on all Directors and Heads of Units of the ministry and Nigerians at large that they should first believe in the ‘Change Agenda’ in order to make the desired change possible.
“For us to successfully surmount this challenge, it is important that we start by looking inwards. It is said that what you don't have, you can't give. If we must inform Nigerians about the Buhari Administration's Change Agenda, we must first believe in the change. If we must propagate the Change Agenda successfully, we must ourselves become the champions of change. Simply put, the change begins here, in this ministry.”
He made the staff of the ministry to realise that their establishment is key in the era of change in terms of adequate and timely propagation of activities of the Federal government.
“Let me say straightaway that this Ministry is the most strategic in the country today, and I say that with all sense of seriousness. It is even more strategic now than ever, in an era of change. The responsibility to adequately communicate the Buhari Administration's Change Agenda to Nigerians, in order for them to own and live it, rests squarely on us.”
He enjoined them to “Brace up, because it is going to be one heck of a ride. We hope you will be part of the train of change, because many people will like to be where you are at this historic moment.”
And in a statement issued in Abuja same Tuesday, the Minister reiterated the fact that less than N2 trillion has accrued to the TSA, hence the 1% charges on the amount could not have amounted to 25 billion Naira.
Reacting to Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose’s insistence that there were fraudulent activities in the management of the TSA funds, Mr Mohammed said that Governor Fayose has been unable to invalidate the facts that he had earlier stated concerning the TSA.
“For the sake of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora who have been following the TSA debate, we hereby restate the facts: The TSA deal was initiated by the immediate past administration but only enjoyed a new lease of life under the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari because of his sterling leadership qualities of accountability, transparency, uprightness and respect for the rule of law.
“Any agreement on the TSA charges was reached long before the present administration assumed office.
“Even if the agreement on the charges is one per cent, it could not have amounted to 25 billion Naira because the total amount of money that has accrued to the TSA is less than 2 trillion Naira.
“Even if one per cent was agreed as charges, whatever accrues therefrom was meant to be shared among the CBN, Systemspecs (the owner of the Remita software) and the commercial banks, hence no single company could have collected 25 billion Naira as charges.
“As at the time the controversy over the TSA broke, the total amount of money in the TSA was less than 800 billion Naira.
“The TSA has neither been enveloped in any fraud nor has any money from the account been diverted.
“The Senate’s investigation of the TSA issue is within its oversight responsibilities and is never a confirmation that the TSA funds have been diverted or that indeed one single company has made 25 billion Naira as charges.
“These are the issues and we stand by them, irrespective of a rabble-rousing and demeaning statement from any quarter.” (Channels TV/NAN)
•Photo shows Lai Mohammed.
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