By Princewill Ekwujuru
LAGOS — The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, will increase to $2 trillion by 2030 from its present N514 billion, if the country reduced corruption to the level of Ghana and Malaysia.
The minister, who quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC, report, while addressing members of the Advertising Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, an Association of Marketing Directors of corporate organisations and a sectoral body of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, said: “If Nigeria reduces corruption to the level in Ghana and Malaysia, Nigeria’s GDP will increase to $2 trillion from N514 billion in 2030.
“Here, we are trying to rebuild Nigeria and lay a new foundation where companies will be able to operate. If we can cut corruption, even if oil price is $10 per barrel, we will still be able to achieve targets.”
Mohammed, who briefed the association of government’s plan of what he described as father of all campaigns, a national orientation campaign tagged: ‘Change begins with me’ to be spearheaded by the President himself, said: “It is true we campaigned on the change mantra, but this change mantra is largely misunderstood by Nigerians which they (Nigerians) misinterpreted to mean that as soon as Buhari is sworn in, immediately things will change in Nigeria.
“It does not happen that way. Nigerians cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results. Indiscipline and corruption are not restricted to people at the top. Each Nigerian has a role to play and that is why we are launching the campaign.”
He said everyone was guilty of the malaise that was crippling the society today, adding that “average Nigerian with opportunity will likely cheat. The malaise cuts across gender, age and professions.
“This kind of campaign we want to run will touch every Nigerian. It will start with the President who will say my name is Muhammadu Buhari and I don’t expect kick back from any of my ministers, change begins with me. It goes for professions, students etc. It will be comprehensive and in phases and that is why we need ADVAN.
“The corporate Nigeria will be the first beneficiary of the campaign. For instance, if there is security, the investors will find the environment conducive enough to invest. Businesses have lost a lot to insecurity in the north. If we minimize corruption, the money could be used to develop the economy,” he said.
Responding, President of ADVAN, David Okeme, promised to partner with government to deliver on its programmes.
He said ADVAN took this step because businesses needed a country to thrive, adding that it was in business interest that security was in place, corruption was reduced and other economic indices were looking up.