Nigeria Minister of Information Lai Mohammed is battling a “corrupt cabal” at the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC), it emerged yesterday.
It was also learnt that the same cartel is being backed by some external forces, including contractors who have been used to inflated projects in NBC.
Mohammed has been the butt of smear campaign over a request for a loan of N13.1million from NBC for a five-man official delegation to China.
In spite of the fact that the trip was officially approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, a deputy director, who is a member of the cabal, allegedly snapped the memo and leaked it to the media.
It was gathered that the said deputy director was one of the corrupt members of the cabal in the system who could not come to terms with Mohammed’s reforms.
According to investigation by our correspondent, Mohammed has been targeted by the cabal for allegedly stopping “curious requests of more than N200million.
Some of the issues in NBC which had made Mohammed the target of the cabal include:
The uncovering of duplication of payment vouchers of about N109million
Non-approval of N66million for accommodation at a hotel in Lagos for a Commonwealth meeting
Inflated invoice for the purchase of diesel at N195 per litre instead of N125 per litre
Stoppage of business class travels for all directors and top officials
* Putting the names of those who have left NBC on payment schedule for some huge allowances
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Since the Minister came on board, he has been fighting a corruption cabal in NBC and some of the 19 parastatals under his ministry.
“So, the leakage of the loan memo to NBC was a case of corruption fighting back.I think the Minister and his team are also underestimating the danger of what they are doing.
“The change they are bringing to the ministry and NBC, the workers are not used to it and they are resisting it.
“For instance, upon assumption of office, a director came went to the Minister and asked for approval for payment for SURE-P projects worth about N100m. The director even listed what the Minister and the Permanent Secretary will benefit.