Only in Nigeria: Private citizen pockets multi-million naira govt. revenue while govt. officials look the other way •HURIWA raises alarm, demands action

Posted by News Express | 14 August 2013 | 4,779 times

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The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has tasked the chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Dr. Aliyu Jibril Yelwa, disclose the name of the high profile private citizen whom he alleged in a recent interview with a national newspaper was in the habit of extorting a federal government agency of all its revenue generated monthly in foreign denominated currency running into millions of naira without rendering any form of services to the Nigerian state.

Dr. Yelwa had disclosed in an exclusive interview with the Abuja-based Daily Trust: “There is one agency whose managing director was so shameless to tell us that part of the revenue that comes to that organisation goes to a private person, and the said revenue is in dollars. The person collects it and even asks if that was all they gathered for the day, and the government is fully aware of that. Who am I to stop him? If you hear some terrible stories from these organisations, you will shed tears.”

HURIWA, however, said ‘shedding tears’ was not the panacea to corruption and economic crimes by government officials which has crippled the nation’s economy. In a letter served on the Fiscal Responsibility Commission on August 13, 2013 but dated August 12, HURIWA wrote as follows:  

“Sir, our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report in Daily Trust of Tuesday, August 6th 2013 captioned ‘Architects of Fiscal Responsibility Act are now killing it.’

“In the well considered interview, Sir, we commend you for your uprightness and good intention for the service of your fatherland which was profoundly manifested in the aforesaid interview with one of the nation’s respected media.

“However, Sir, we are not satisfied with the transparency of your comments that ‘there is one agency, whose managing director was so shameless to tell us that part of the revenue that comes to that agency/organization goes to a private person and the said revenue is in dollars. The person collects it and even asks if that was all they gathered for the day, and the government is fully aware of that. Who am I to stop him?’

“Sir, this allegation is a serious issue which should not be swept under the carpet. Sir, with profound humility, we demand that, the alleged agency and its managing director, together with the said private person be disclosed to all Nigerians by writing as the direct response to this freedom of information request to your good self and offices.”

On the legal framework the request was erected, HURIWA wrote thus: “Sir, we demand this by virtue of Section 1of the Freedom of Information Act (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2011, which gives us the right to request any information in any form, in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution. In this instance you are in custody of this vital information but you stopped short of disclosing it for public consumption which we strongly think is offensive to the federal government’s resolve to wage zero-tolerant war against corruption.”

HURIWA in the request signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko further stated thus: “Sir, we write this in good faith, hoping that you will grant our request, and failure to disclose this information within 7days, we shall have no option than to seek the necessary legal means to compel compliance to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act as provided in Section 1(3) and Section 4.”

•Photo: Fiscal Responsibility Commission Chair, Dr. Aliyu Jibril Yelwa.


Source: News Express

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