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img_1007 Nigeria’s controversial Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has constantly been in the news for wrong reasons. At a time when the ruling party he represents is quickly losing the trust and loyalty of Nigerians largely because of its abysmal economic policy deficiencies, the Minister has equally failed to live up to expectations, little wonder Nigerians tagged him ‘Lie Mohammed’ on social media. Recently, Lai Mohammed was enmeshed in a N13,120,470 (thirteen million, one hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and seventy naira) loan scandal with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). He had solicited for the loan in order to proceed on a purported official trip to China. In the leaked internal memo written on behalf of the Minister by the Director of Public Relations and Protocol, Dama, he said “I am directed to inform you (NBC) that the Honourable Minister ofInformation and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is proceeding on official assignment to China onSunday, 15th May 2016.“The Honourable Minister has therefore approved that you loan the Ministry the total sum of (N13,120,470) thirteen million, one hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and seventy Naira only to enable him and his team embark on the China trip to carry out the assignment.”Meanwhile, this magazine gathered from a reliable source that the purported ‘Conference of Ministers’ he attended in China was just an ordinary exhibition, which a prudent public office holder of his status would have assigned to a junior staff in his ministry. The trip was described as a sheer waste of tax payers’ funds, right under the watch of a government that promised Nigerians to fight corruption and misuse of public funds. And as if this is not enough, Lai Mohammed has devised another means of accruing undue funds to himself.Just like the NBC loan scandal, Global News gathered that the Minister has literally turned himself to a corporate beggar, begging governors of his party for cash. He is said to have sent similar memo to virtually all serving governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The minister tried to justify the loan from NBC by stating that “I am billed to attend a World Conference of Ministers in company of four other officials of the ministry. The bureaucrats worked out the total cost using approved official rates. The same bureaucrats informed me that there is no fund in the Ministry of Information for the trip and suggested that the ministry should approach any of the parastatals for a short loan pending when the budget would be signed into law. It must be noted that N13m being bandied about is for the Hon Minister and four other officials. The entire process was transparent. The trip was officially approved by the President. It is not a private trip.”But despite his claim, Nigerians have continued to flog him with harsh and degrading comments.

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