CSOs to FG: Make Public Details Of Looted Funds Recovered

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From: Bamidele Fasube

Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to

make public all looted funds that have been recovered so far

especially by the present administration.

The CSOs said Nigerians are gradually becoming inpatient with the

manner President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is delivering on

his change agenda.

Representative of the CSOs, who spoke for The Situation Room, Mr.

Clement Nwankwo during a meeting with the Minister of Information and

Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja urged the federal government to

tackle growing national issues with the urgency that it deserves.

”Expectations are very high amongst Nigerians for the changes

promised by General Buhari during the campaigns. The need to deliver

on campaign promises is against the background of the complete lack of

public trust in government and its institutions,” Nwankwo said.

He stated that, ”urgent symbolic steps and quick wins” should be

urgently implemented by the government including transparency and

openness of loot recovered from officials of the immediate past

regime, openness of the national budget, sale of some of the

presidential jets, zero tolerance for impunity and the probe of the

FCDA land swap.

Earlier, Muhammed urged Nigerians to remain patient as the change

agenda would soon become a reality.

The Minister said as soon as the 2016 budget in passed, implementation

of programmes and policies would commence.

According to him, ”This Government will not give excuses. The

painstaking and methodical approach by the Buhari Administration, its

deep analysis and understanding of the challenges and the recent

inauguration of the cabinet will herald a new dawn. We will start

firing from all cylinders, starting with the unveiling of the 2016

budget.

”Nigerians will witness measurable and impactful progress in all

spheres of governance. We shall not abandon our social intervention

policies such as one meal a day for school children and the payment of

5,000 Naira each to vulnerable Nigerians. We are committed to lifting

millions of Nigerians out of poverty.”

On how the Administration will fund its programmes, in view of the

drastic fall in the price of crude oil, the Minister said it would be

through the diversification of the economy, plugging of leakages as

well as exploiting and widening the country’s tax base without

necessarily raising taxes.

”A comparative analysis between Nigeria and South Africa will drive

the point home. In 2013, with a population of 160 million and GDP of

$510 billion, Nigeria collected $30 billion in taxes, whereas South

Africa, with a population of 54 million and GDP of $366 billion,

collected $74 billion in taxes.

”In 2014, Nigeria, with a population of 170 million and GDP of $535

billion, collected $26 billion, while South Africa, with a GDP of $350

billion and population of 54 million, raked in $70 billion. From the

figures, it is obvious that if only we can widen our tax base, we do

not need to raise taxes to increase our tax revenue,” he said

The Minister commended the CSOs for the role they played during the

last general elections, saying the organizations, especially those

grouped under the Situation Room, contributed hugely to the success of

the polls.

He said the Buhari Administration will carry the Civil Society along

in its efforts to change, for the better, the country’s fortunes.

”That is why we have started our engagement with you this early.

Therefore, this will be the first in a series of engagements with the

Civil Society. We see you as credible, and we see you as patriots, who

are genuinely interested in the welfare of the people,” the Minister

said.

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1 Comment on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Apart from makeing public recoveries and the source, the public is entitled to know the consequences for bad behavior; to serve as a deterrent. December 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm -

    We are watching and waiting for the change.