Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and culture, says the federal government has saved over N17 billion from foreign trips, sitting allowances and souvenirs.

Mohammed disclosed this at a forum organized by NAN in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the present administration introduced an efficiency unit in the ministry of finance to ensure that the resources of government were not squandered on “trivialized grants”.

He said the fight against corruption must not be based on the number of people that are jailed or prosecuted, but on efforts made by the government to curb corruption.

“We promised that we are going to fight corruption; people keep asking us what is your scorecard in corruption,” he said.

“Our scorecard in corruption must not be looked at just from the viewpoint of how many people have been arrested; how many have been prosecuted and how many have been jailed.

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“In addition to whatever achievement we must have made in that respect, I think what is most important for the main time is the efforts this government has put in place to ensure that there is transparency in governance.

“This is to ensure that the resources of government actually go to government account and to ensure that it is actually used for the purpose of what it’s meant for.

“Another thing this government has achieved is that we introduced what is called an efficiency unit in the ministry of finance to ensure that the resources of government are not frittered on trivialised grants and excuses and today we saved about N17 billion from travels, souvenirs and sitting allowances.”

He also noted that the whistleblowing policy was another means employed by the current administration to fight corruption.

The minister said the policy has led to recoveries of N13.8 billion in tax evasion; N7.8 billion, 378 million dollars; and 27,200 pounds from public officials.

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