- PwC says Corruption deprives Nigeria $500bn revenue
An 18-year-old would-be Boko Haram suicide bomber, Amina, who was intercepted by Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers yesterday in Maiduguri, said she was given N200 for the mission.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the Borno State capital that she was abducted two years ago by the sect’s members in Madagali, Adamawa State, and taken to Sambisa forest.
Said the girl: “They gave us N200 each which they said we should use to buy food for ourselves.
“It took us three days to come to Maiduguri on a motorcycle. We were directed by the sect members to detonate our explosives anywhere we saw any form of gathering.
“They said if we press the button, the bomb would explode and we will automatically go to heaven.
“I was scared, so, I told them that I could not detonate any explosive. So, they said if Zainab detonated her own, it would serve the purpose.
“On our way to Maiduguri, we encountered the military and they were shooting. I was very scared and the people that brought us ran away.
“I am from Imam Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram, even though I have never seen Shekau. But I hear about him in Gobarawa.”
She said that her father, mother and younger brother, Umar, were all killed when they tried to escape from the Boko Haram enclave where they were held hostage.
“We came from Gobarawa along Damboa, Madagali and Algarno axis, in a community where a lot of us were held hostage and married off by the sect members.
“I am married to a Boko Haram Commander known as ‘Amir’.
The NSCDC Commandant in Borno, Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the command had handed over the suspect to the Garrison Commander, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, “ for proper investigation’’.
The Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, confirmed that the suspect was in the army’s custody of the Army, and that she would undergo investigation.
“We are going to profile her as she would give us the lead to get to other insurgents,” Gen. Irabor said.
The NAN reports that the NSCDC personnel had earlier intercepted two female suicide bombers, who tried to ram into motorists at the NNPC Mega Station along Damboa Road, Maiduguri.
The Commandant of the corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told NAN that the incident occurred at about 6.45 a.m.
“Our personnel at the NNPC station intercepted two female suicide bombers who were targeting motorists on the long queue at the NNPC mega petrol station at about 6.45 a.m.
“One of the bombers got scared and threw away her bomb and was instantly arrested, while the other one began to run after people with her explosive but luckily, she was shot on the leg by our personnel after he chased her to a safe place,’’ Ibrahim said.
In the meantime, economists at the multinational accounting and management firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have projected Nigeria’s annual Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of USD500 billion when corruption is reduced.
They also stated that a more efficient tax system would boost the economy with annual non-oil revenue of about USD104 billion. These form part of the recent report of the PwC released yesterday which outlined about five ways Nigeria could drive inclusive economic growth.
These, according to the report include: improving tax collection, economic diversification, eliminating corruption, easing the constraints to business, and increasing labour productivity.
On improving tax collection the report said “Nigeria is a low-taxed economy compared to its peers with the tax-to- GDP, ratio estimated at just 8 per cent, the second lowest in Africa and the fourth lowest in the world.
If these could be increased to the Sub-Saharan African economies’ average of 18 per cent of GDP, Nigeria could potentially raise its tax revenues to around $104 billion. The report further stated: “Higher tax revenues would reduce government borrowing and encourage financial institutions to offer funds at lower interest rates, thereby boosting the real economy and economic diversification.”
The report reiterated Nigeria’s potential advantages for future growth to include a large consumer market, a strategic geographic location as a hub for Africa, and a young and entrepreneurial population.
It added: “The first step in harnessing these opportunities requires deliberate efforts to improve value-adding activity in the non-oil economy, particularly in agriculture and the services sectors”
Nation with additional report from Vanguard