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Lai Mohammed: Government officials looted N274bn from pension funds

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

Government officials looted N273.9bn from pension funds between 2005 and 2011, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.

The minister said this while delivering the Distinguished Guest Lecture of the Faculty of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, on Friday, according to statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Segun Adeyemi.

Mohammed cited the pension fraud as one of the numerous high profile cases of corruption that had occurred in the country in recent times.

He drew a link between corruption and under-development, and noted that corruption had under-developed Nigeria and condemned the citizens into perpetual poverty

To buttress his assertion, the minister listed numerous cases of corruption, including N1.9bn Special Intervention Ebola Fund Scandal; the Police Equipment Funds scandal in which about N774m was diverted; the Dasukigate that has so far revealed that 21 individuals benefitted from the scam to a tune of 54bn; the pension scam, in which top government officials in charge of pension funds in the country looted about N273.9bn from 2005 to 2011 and the fuel subsidy scam, in which Nigeria spent N2.587trn on fuel subsidy in 2011, 900 per cent more than the N245bn that was appropriated for that purpose.

He called on the citizens to form coalitions that will galvanise their individual efforts to tackle corruption, saying there was a role for everyone in tackling graft. The minister said once the people were determined to battle corruption, they were assured of victory.

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