The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the report that he has $1.2bn (about N400bn) in his bank account is “fake and vicious’’.
The minister stated this on Thursday, April 27 in Ilorin at the Annual National Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations with the theme; “Communicating Values for Development and Sustainability’’.
The minister said that the report was invented by the opposition and naysayers to malign him and the government, adding that the alleged fund is about the budget of his ministry for 25 years.
“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 $1.2bn in his imaginary bank account?
“Let’s examine this for a moment. $1.2bn is about N400bn.
“The entire yearly budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture, where I preside, is under N15bn 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 N400bn.
“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.
He condemned the ugly trend by opposition, who were inventing the fake and malicious stories using bloggers and some online media to malign government officials.
According to him, the intention of the perpetrators and carriers of the reports are to distract the government to lose focus, but it will not fall to their antics.
The minister said that Public Relations gave him the first break in life being the profession he practised after his graduation for over 40 years.