Swiss Ambassador on Nigeria: Our govt officials don’t steal public funds; they don’t use private jets or fly first class – Premium Times/Sani Tukur

July 23, 2016


With Nigeria’s Customs boss, Mr. Hamid Ali, a supposedly close ally of President Buhari flying First Class recently on a British Airways flight, I bring back an old post about a remark made by the former Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria. Despite Switzerland’s great wealth, Mr. Hodel, the Ambassador had given given an interview to PREMIUM TIMES on various subjects.

Here are the reasons why the Comptroller-General of Customs should be queried on his N3 million-plus first class ticket:

1. Does the Minister of Finance’s circular on the ban of of First Class travel by government officials not affect Hamid Ali?

2. What is Ali’s salary that he can afford to spend over N3 million ($11,000-plus) for a ticket?

3. What business did Ali go to England for, and finally,

I will recommend Nigerian government goes a step further: restrict all officials below ministerial, governors and the VP and President to economy-class travels.

If Swiss can practise what Mr. Hodel does, what would be the excuse of Nigerian officials, especially governors who owe several months in salaries, and some have not paid workers for 2 years.



Interview with Switzerland’s former Ambassador to Nigeria

On travelling by air as an ambassador, Mr. Hodel gave this memorable quote: “I will surely feel a level of guilt to fly business for a flight that cost $5000 in business and $1000 in economy. The thing is what value can that $4000 difference add to my country, and that has always been the guiding principle …”

Hans Rudolf Hodel, Switzerland ambassador to Nigeria

Hans Rudolf Hodel, Switzerland ambassador to Nigeria
On Federalism:
… taxes are decided by the people themselves; that is a guarantee that the tax are executed well, because if my cantonal government in charge of the Cantonal University wants to improve it and needs more money, they have to convince the population that this one is needed and if they have to raise taxes for this reason, they will have to convince them so that people will be willing to pay taxes.
On Corruption:

Ambassador: In Switzerland, people consider public wealth as their own; so if I will use my government’s money to do private things, then I will really have the impression that I am stealing from my fellow citizens because I am also a tax payer.

PT: As an ambassador, you fly economy? We believe Nigerian officials fly first class.

Ambassador: Oh yes, that is why I hardly…

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5 Comments on “Swiss Ambassador on Nigeria: Our govt officials don’t steal public funds; they don’t use private jets or fly first class – Premium Times/Sani Tukur”

  1. F Bakare Says:

    Our behaviour stinks in this country. Can’t we just copy and emulate other countries with saner environment?



  2. Adegoke G. Falade Says:

    I think PMB has failed!
    On Monday, he complained that the Judiciary was not in synergy with his aspiration to fight corruption; and the Chief Justice of Nigeria cited the non-cooperating lawyers as the root of the problem. I write : balderdash, I reject this self-defeating lame excuses!



    • emotan77 Says:

      Indeed, he is on the way there, even if he has not completely failed. The judiciary and others cannot be blaimed about what is, in fact, a self-inflicted continuous wound despite all the goodwill he had coming in. His appointments are lopsided in favor of the North more than ever before, and the people being probed seemed only to be from the south. Meanwhile, we do not know who really stole how much and the names and amounts from looters seem confidential.

      And now, a man who heads Customs, an agency which controls the largest revenue-generating agency for the country after oil is travelling royally around the world despite a circular issued in April is a challenge to Buhari’s authority and claim of corruption-fighting.





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