Posted by News Express | 2 September 2016 | 2,359 times
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Nigerian far recovered about N78 billion from corrupt officials.
The minister however noted that the money is not enough to rebuild the country’s economy away from the recession.
Mohammed noted that the government spends N165 billion every month to pay federal civil servants and owed contractors about N2 trillion.
He however assured Nigerians that the government was committed to ensuring that every money recovered was spent shrewdly.
He said, “What we have recovered and if my record is right is about N78 billion, and 3 million dollars.
“We have been able to block various accounts in which about 9 billion dollar is found but those are not money available to us because we are still in court over them.
“The government spends N165 billion every month to pay federal civil servants, even what has been so far recovered will not even pay 50 per cent of the salaries in a month.”
On budget release, he recalled that the Federal Ministry of Finance released N400 billion for capital projects, mostly on roads, railway, and power.
“N400 billion seems a lot, but you must also understand that for three or four years contractors were not paid.
“So, when we paid this money to contractors, they also use part of it to settle their own debt, they use part of it to recall laid off staff.
“But the truth of the matter is that many of them have been paid, they are yet to mobilise to site and they cannot do so until the rains are over.
Nigeria was Africa’s largest economy and its top oil producer, but its public finances have suffered as the price of crude oil dropped around the world.
The economic crisis has also worsened due to attacks on the country’s pipelines by a militant group known as the Niger Delta Avengers.
The attack by militants had driven oil production to around 700,000 bpd, below its 2016 budget assumption of 2.2 million barrels per day.
Nigeria was last in a recession, for less than a year, in 1991, and experienced a prolonged one that started in 1982 and last until 1984.
The government has so far disbursed more than 400 billion naira in capital expenditure this year, part of a record 6.06 trillion naira ($30 billion) budget for 2016. (TV360 Nigeria)
•Photo shows Lai Mohammed.
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