I do not own $1.2bn – Lai Mohammed

by Dolapo Adelana

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has dismissed reports that he owns $1.2 billion (about N400 billion) in his bank account.

The minister stated this on Thursday in Ilorin at the Annual National Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) with the theme, “Communicating Values for Development and Sustainability’’.

Mohammed the report was fictitious and a plot to malign him and the government, adding that the alleged fund is about the budget of his ministry for 25 years.

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“How else can you explain that people will believe and circulate a fake report that the Minister of Information and Culture that is yours truly has $1.2 billion in his imaginary bank account?

“Let’s examine this for a moment. 1.2 billion dollars is about N400 billion.

“The entire yearly budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture, where I preside, is under 15 billion Naira and these include salaries, overhead and capital projects.

“Assuming, without conceding that the Minister somehow manages to transfer the entire budget into his personal account, it will take 25 years for him to amass N400 billion.

“Yet, this disinformation was lapped up by the public,” he said.

The minister said that similar imaginary huge sums of money had been credited to other ministers.

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