By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin—Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed, yesterday, that the whistle-blower policy of the current 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 recoveries from public officials.
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 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 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 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.’’