December 4, 2022

Global News

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Travel Loan: Lai Mohammed Lied

4 min read

imageWe are disturbed by the latest falsehood published in The Nation newspaper of Monday, 16 May, 2016, and the theatre of the absurd currently playing out in the Federal Information and Culture Ministry, following the recent leak of a letter requesting a loan of N13.2 million from the National Broadcasting Commission to facilitate Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s travel to China.

For the avoidance of doubts, we are a group of public servants opposed to corruption and with revulsion for the minister’s gratuitous recklessness. We would have elected to leave the unfolding drama of corruption in the Ministry to the judgement of the reading public without this eye-witness account, but for the lying minister’s latest decision to enlist his brothers in The Nation newspapers to wage a media war on imagined ‘enemies’ and ‘saboteurs’.

We believe that no objective Nigerian, who has read the published stories on this matter so far, would require an electronic Lie-Detector to be convinced that the minister’s series of explanations were bunkum. You don’t have to be a Civil Servant or a Federal Auditor to know that even the National Broadcasting Commission itself could not duly process or pay that N13.2 million for any purpose outside what it was meant for without the Accountant General of the Federation’s official approval.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed misinformed the nation in one of his numerous bogus public rebuttals that it was normal in Government for a Chief Executive to take such ‘loans’ from parastatals under his charge as if they were banks or money lenders. He also sought to drag in the name of Mr. President by emphasizing that his China trip received Presidential endorsement and that, apart from the tourism conference in China, he was additionally going to explore the Chinese market and negotiate with manufacturers of ‘set top boxes’ required for Nigeria’s Digital Switchover as if those were the issues at stake. He additionally deceived the reading public with insinuations about a Cabal in the National Broadcasting Commission resisting his anti-corruption steps and fighting back. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Was it the Cabal that advised him to be soliciting for money from his parastatals?

A peculiar problem with the fight against corruption in Nigeria is that it is the corrupt officials themselves who usually dominate the airwaves. While they openly condemn financial crimes on the radio and pontificate about graft on the television, they return to the secrecy of their offices to count the number of ‘Ghana Must Gos’ brought in so far! In other climes where corruption is being honestly fought, stakeholders would have swiftly moved to verify the truth or falsehood in this matter while looking into the vouchers and retirements of the minister’s unspeakably reckless expenditures from the ministry’s vote in general.

The fact is that long before the recent media leak, stories of the minister’s profligacy in the ministry were legion, ranging from his persistent fleecing of the ministry’s recurrent account, ostensibly for tours of media houses, and his frequent solicitations for money from virtually all the 15 parastatals under his charge.

Indeed, the leaked NBC solicitation was the 3rd this year alone. And it would have sailed through as smoothly as ever, but for the newness in the office of the acting Director General who had stubbornly insisted that he be ‘assisted’ with a ‘small note’ for his record. Under the more experienced departed Director General, such a deal would have been verbally struck and the cash swiftly delivered in a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’. It appeared that persistent solicitations from the minister were condoned by some of the sacked Directors General to guarantee the continuity of their looting, until the Tsunami that recently washed them away arrived. There are even talks of one of them parting with a brand new Jeep.

Before now, and as a result of his macabre dance of sleaze since his appointment, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had been a butt of jokes among observers in the Ministry as one of the members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Cabinet clearly not on the same page with him on his avowed fight against corruption.

In the interest of CHANGE, and in order to ensure the success of the ongoing fight against corruption, therefore, we are seizing this opportunity to urge all well-meaning media of public information and anti-corruption agencies not to allow Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s excesses to be swept under the carpet, but to beam their investigative searchlights on the unmistakable story of executive greed and graft unfolding in the ministry.
Garba Mohammed Tukur

For: Anti-corruption Group

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UBA Foundation Rings in The Yuletide Season, Lights Up the Lagos Marina Africa’s Global bank, United Bank for Africa, through its Corporate Social Responsibility Arm, the UBA Foundation, on Tuesday, held its annual Christmas Lighting ceremony to mark the start of the festive season. The brilliant Christmas Lights of the UBA Foundation Gardens at the UBA Head Office on the Marina in Lagos, were activated by the bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, in a grand ceremony which was witnessed by key management staff and some customers of the bank. Alawuba, who addressed attendees at the ceremony, reiterated that the annual Lighting event is a symbol of hope for the coming year, the future and all the goodness it will bring into people’s lives. Alawuba said, “The UBA Foundation is focused on touching lives and giving back to its host communities. UBA through its foundation, the UBA Foundation desire remains is committed to improving lives in whatever way we can. We want to give back always and this event is quite symbolic as it represents the affinity we have towards our customers, employees and associates as well as our communities.” The CEO of the UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta, said that the Christmas lighting ceremony was important for the Foundation adding: “Today is significant. All over the world, it is known in the advent period as Giving Tuesday. It is a time to give back to those who don’t have enough. It is a time to shine light on others, to give hope and give gifts. Today we gave out a lot of gifts and people were happy as we lit up the Foundation gardens to symbolise joy and hope. We are constantly reminded as an institution, of our promise to continue to touch lives and show kindness. In these difficult times, sharing even a little bit, goes a long way.” The lighting ceremony was attended by UBA staff members and customers who were serenaded with Christmas carols by the UBA Customer Fulfilment Centre’s choir. It ended with a guided tour around the UBA Foundation gardens on the Lagos Marina. Over the years, the UBA Foundation has been very active in creating sustainable development in its host communities and as part of its corporate social responsibility, the Foundation will be feeding tens of thousands of people across Africa during this festive season. UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of the UBA Group, is committed to the socio-economic betterment of the communities in which the bank operates, focusing on development in the areas of Education, the Environment, Economic Empowerment and other Special Projects.

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2 min read

UBA Foundation Rings in The Yuletide Season, Lights Up the Lagos Marina Africa’s Global bank, United Bank for Africa, through its Corporate Social Responsibility Arm, the UBA Foundation, on Tuesday, held its annual Christmas Lighting ceremony to mark the start of the festive season. The brilliant Christmas Lights of the UBA Foundation Gardens at the UBA Head Office on the Marina in Lagos, were activated by the bank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, in a grand ceremony which was witnessed by key management staff and some customers of the bank. Alawuba, who addressed attendees at the ceremony, reiterated that the annual Lighting event is a symbol of hope for the coming year, the future and all the goodness it will bring into people’s lives. Alawuba said, “The UBA Foundation is focused on touching lives and giving back to its host communities. UBA through its foundation, the UBA Foundation desire remains is committed to improving lives in whatever way we can. We want to give back always and this event is quite symbolic as it represents the affinity we have towards our customers, employees and associates as well as our communities.” The CEO of the UBA Foundation, Mrs Bola Atta, said that the Christmas lighting ceremony was important for the Foundation adding: “Today is significant. All over the world, it is known in the advent period as Giving Tuesday. It is a time to give back to those who don’t have enough. It is a time to shine light on others, to give hope and give gifts. Today we gave out a lot of gifts and people were happy as we lit up the Foundation gardens to symbolise joy and hope. We are constantly reminded as an institution, of our promise to continue to touch lives and show kindness. In these difficult times, sharing even a little bit, goes a long way.” The lighting ceremony was attended by UBA staff members and customers who were serenaded with Christmas carols by the UBA Customer Fulfilment Centre’s choir. It ended with a guided tour around the UBA Foundation gardens on the Lagos Marina. Over the years, the UBA Foundation has been very active in creating sustainable development in its host communities and as part of its corporate social responsibility, the Foundation will be feeding tens of thousands of people across Africa during this festive season. UBA Foundation, the CSR arm of the UBA Group, is committed to the socio-economic betterment of the communities in which the bank operates, focusing on development in the areas of Education, the Environment, Economic Empowerment and other Special Projects.

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