The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, replying to allegation of corruption after a letter he wrote to National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), an agency under the supervision of his ministry, requesting for N13m loan to cover traveling expenses for a trip to China went viral, said on Saturday that he did nothing wrong.
In a statement issued by Mr. Peter Dama, the Director, Public Relations and Protocol in the Ministry, Alhaji Mohammed defended his request letter to NBC, explaining that the issue did not worth attention.
The statement reads in part: “The loan being requested for is for the Ministry to meet up its obligations to enable the Minister and members of his delegation attend the all important Conference.
“The loan is not meant for the minister alone as personal expenses, but for the expenses of all members of the delegation.
“The Conference is being organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in conjunction with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, under the overall theme “Tourism for Peace and Development.
“It will feature amongst others, discussions on major issues for sustainable development including the contribution of Tourism to poverty reduction and peace.
“The Conference is a veritable platform to develop synergy and partnership with players in the global Tourism Industry which will go a long way in boosting our drive to diversify the Nigerian economy.
“It is clear that the Conference is an all important gathering that will benefit Nigeria, contribute towards diversification of its revenue base and create employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“It is therefore shocking to find out that an internal memorandum from the Ministry could be leaked out to the social media by saboteurs in order to embarrass the government.”