Lai Mohammed: Youths Key to Achieving Corruption-free Nigeria

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By Tobi Soniyi in Lagos

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has rallied Nigerian youths to be in the vanguard of the fight against corruption, saying unbridled corruption is robbing the youths of their future.

Speaking at the launch of the Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption (CYIAC) in Lagos at the weekend, the minister said there was no better way to tackle the menace of corruption than to involve the youth, the leaders of tomorrow.

He said the fight against corruption would be more effective if the youths were involved, especially because they constituted the largest chunk of the country’s population, ‘’which means that they represent a critical mass that can be effectively leveraged to fight corruption.”

He noted that of government was able to  enlist the support of the Nigerian youth in the fight against corruption, the dream of a corruption-free Nigeria would become a reality.

He said:  “If the youth can be adequately sensitised to the dangers posed to their future by corruption, they will need little or no prodding to take on the corrupt in our society.”

The minister said no group of Nigerians had suffered more from the consequences of corruption than the youth.

‘’The resources that would have been invested to develop our youths have been stolen over the years. Thousands of youths who graduate from universities and other institutions of higher learning are roaming the streets due to lack of jobs that would have been created, had the resources not been stolen. The infrastructure needed by youths to give vent to their creativity, either in the creative industry or in other areas of human endeavour, are not there, because funds allocated to build such infrastructure have been stolen by fat cats,’’ he said.

Mohammed said the Buhari administration was winning the fight against corruption.

To support his claim, the minister said government saved N25 billion every month by cutting unnecessary allowances of officials, stopped the payment of phantom subsidy of between N800 billion and N1.3 trillion annually and recovered at least $43 million and 56 houses from just one former government official.

He also said government had recovered  $2.9 billion dollars from looters so far and another  recovery of $151 million dollars and N8 billion in looted funds from just three sources through the whistle-blower policy.

Elimination of ghost workers alone, he said had led to the saving of N120 billion.

He lauded the Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption and pledged

to support its corruption-busting campaign through adequate publicity.

The event was attended by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who

gave the keynote address, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, among other

dignitaries.