Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated Tuesday that the whistle-blower policy of the present administration has raked in N13.8 billion into the coffers of the federal government from tax evaders.
He also said other dividends of the policy include N7.8 billion, $378 million and 27,800 Pounds recoveries from public officials.
Alhaji Mohammed, who described 2019 as the year of decision for Nigeria at a press briefing on State of the Nation in his country home at Oro, Kwara State, expressed confidence that the vast majority of the electorate would chose the path of development by re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.
He said: “The fight against corruption has been unrelenting, without fear or favour. The administration has driven corruption under the table; Nigerians no longer celebrate the corrupt.
“Looters no longer sleep at night, as the long arm of the law closes in on them. The government’s Whistle-Blower policy has yielded massive dividends, including N13.8 billion from tax evaders, N7.8 billion, $378 million and 27,800 Pounds in recoveries from public officials targeted by whistle-blowers. This administration has embarked on institutional reforms to curb corruption.
Mohammed said the fear of the impending victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, as reflected in the outcome of the elections in Ekiti State, and lately Bauchi and Katsina states, explained why the oppositions had been running from pillar to post, desperate to thwart the victory of the APC in 2019.
According to him, their efforts will be in vain.
The minister also said that thought of fighting corruption during the second term of the present administration had also sent fears down the spines of his political enemies, assuring that the fight against corruption would continue, even as the present administration was keen about consolidating on its achievements.
Speaking on the forthcoming elections in 2019, the minister said: “I want to appeal to the good people of Nigeria to be vigilant and not yield the space to naysayers. The gains of the past three years plus must be preserved.
”Nigeria must continue on its present trajectory to sustainable growth and development. Never again must we go back to Egypt.
“2019 is the year of decision for Nigeria. It is the year that the critical decision will be made as to whether Nigeria will continue along the path of development, in all ramifications (social, economic, political, etc), that this administration has embarked upon since 2015 or the country will retrogress and backslide to the throes of massive and primitive looting and lack of development.”
Reeling out other achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Mohammed said: “Never in the history of our country has any administration embarked on such a massive infrastructural development as this administration.
”The whole country is one huge construction site. Roads are being constructed in all the six geo-political zones.
“As you all know, I have been touring the various infrastructural projects of the Federal Government across the country with the media.
”So far, we have inspected about 10 projects, including the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the Oyo-Ogbomoso road, the Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt roads, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Abuja light rail project and the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Bida road.The Administration had built over 700km of roads and rehabilitated about 650km.“
In the area of agriculture, he said it had been a huge revolution, saying “let’s take one of our national staples, such as rice, as an example.
”When we came in, there were five million rice farmers. Today, we have in excess of 11 million rice farmers. Our rice import has been cut by over 80 per cent.
“These didn’t happen by accident. It was a result of our Anchor Borrowers Programme. There are more millionaire farmers today than at any other time in the history of our nation.
”Today, Nigeria is closer to achieving self-sufficiency in rice than at any other time in the history of our country.
“This administration has employed 500,000 unemployed graduate under its Social Intervention Programme, SIP. No government in our country’s history has ever done that.
“This administration has been daily feeding 8.5 million school children in 23 states. That has never been done before in Nigeria. This administration has been providing N10,000 every two months to over 300,000 families as social security for the most vulnerable.
“This has never been done before in Nigeria. This administration, realizing that SMEs are the biggest employers of labour, has been growing such enterprises at an astronomical rate through its Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. This is unprecedented.
“In the area of power, this administration has taken power generation to 7,000MW. This is unprecedented in Nigeria. Distribution is at 5,000MW. This has never been achieved before. model houses are being built across the country as a prelude to a massive housing scheme.”