Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Friday said government officials looted N273.9billion from pension funds between 2005 and 2011.
The minister while presenting a paper at the Faculty of Arts of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, cited the pension fraud as one of the numerous high-profile cases of corruption that had occurred in the country in recent times.
He drew a link between corruption and under-development, and noted that corruption had under-developed Nigeria and condemned the citizens into perpetual poverty.
To buttress his assertion, the minister listed numerous cases of corruption, including N1.9bn Special Intervention Ebola Fund Scandal; the Police Equipment Funds scandal in which about N774m was diverted; the Dasukigate that has so far revealed that 21 individuals benefitted from the scam to a tune of N54bn; the pension scam, in which top government officials in charge of pension funds in the country looted about N273.9bn from 2005 to 2011 and the fuel subsidy scam, in which Nigeria spent N2.587trn on fuel subsidy in 2011, 900 percent more than the N245bn that was appropriated for that purpose.
He called on the citizens to form coalitions that will galvanise their individual efforts to tackle corruption, saying there was a role for everyone in tackling graft. The minister said once the people were determined to battle corruption, they were assured of victory.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during a telephone conversation told NEWSVERGE that if Nigerians would join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari led government to fight corruption, the could country economy will raise again thereby boost the country’s GDP.