The protest was under the auspices of Anti-Corruption Network led by former House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye and coincided with the time the minister was attending the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) also took part in the protest.
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The demonstration seemed to have taken staff of the ministry by surprise as many of the staff members abandoned duties to watch the protesters who occupied the entrance to the ministry.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read, “Economic policies would kill us,” “Ngozi Okojo-Iweala is an imperialist agent,” “Ngozi Okojo-Iweala must go,” “Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is our major problem,” “You can’t be saving money when Nigerians are suffering,” among others.
The protesters who chanted the national anthem, marched round the ministry before blocking the entrance to the ministry.
Meanwhile, a press statement issued later by the finance minister said: “We have it on good authority that the protesters were sponsored by some of the indicted oil barons who are currently being investigated and prosecuted for subsidy fraud. Their allegation to wrong subsidy payments made by the ministry is a mere ruse to conceal their true motives,” the statement stated.
When asked by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Danladi Kifasi, to submit a written statement, Mr Melaye said that the protesters did not come with any. “This gives an indication of the level of seriousness of the effort,” the minister said.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance stands steadfast in its resolve to fight against corruption and manage the finances of the country in the best interest of the Nigerian people,” she stated.