Nigeria needs corruption-free public sector -Buhari

From left: Winners of Music, Adeboye Opeyemi; Winner of Essay Competition (Senior Secondary Category) Matilda Daniels; Public Service Integrity Awardee, Hamza Buwai; President Muhammadu Buhari; Winner of Essay Competition (Junior Secondary Category) Chiekezie Favour; Public Service Integrity Awardee, Francis Erhabor and Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) Prof Bolaji Owasanoye at the 2ND National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday.PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. SEPT 28th 2020

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, said his regime would not relent in its efforts to eradicate corruption in the country.

He reiterated his position that if corruption is not eradicated, the menace would kill the country.

He explained that Nigeria needs “a corruption-free public sector to achieve transformation”.

Buhari spoke at the second national summit of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the inauguration of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy to mark the commission’s 20th anniversary and Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.

The theme of the summit is “Together against corruption”.

The President said, “As a military Head of State, I fought corruption headlong and held public officers who abused their office or misused public funds to account.

“Furthermore, I introduced the War Against Indiscipline, one of whose cardinal objectives was promotion of our cherished culture of ethical conduct, integrity and hard work.

“I recognised in 1984 as I do even more now that corruption poses a clear danger to Nigeria, so, we cannot relent in efforts to eradicate it from our society.

“As I have often reminded Nigerians, ‘If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.’”

Buhari expressed the belief that it is when the three arms and the three levels of government work together that the government will be enabled to serve the country while the positive impact of the efforts will be seen.

“Together as a nation, as a people, the three arms and three tiers of government working together, we can attack corruption and realise the vast potentials of our country,” he said.

Buhari said Nigerians needed to deploy resources to address common needs rather than the greed of a callous few.

He added, “We need a corruption-free public sector to achieve this transformation, we need a judicial system that dispenses justice without undue delay and technicality.

“We need laws and legal system to be reformed to deliver justice to every citizen without regard to status and finally we need ethical re-orientation of the people to achieve this goal.

“When we work together against corruption, we can defeat it.”

The President reiterated the role of preventive measures and public education and enlightenment against corruption.

He said his regime, through the Open Treasury initiative, Treasury Single Account, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, Bank Verification Number and others, is implementing different corruption prevention measures to track and retain government revenue for the use of the people.

Buhari recognised and commended the winner of the anti-corruption music award Opeyemi Adeboye; winner of Junior Secondary School competition, Chikezie Favour; winner of the Senior Secondary School competition, Maltilda Daniel.

He also presented the 2020 Public Service Integrity Awards to Francis Erhabor, a Chief Superintendent of Police; and Hamza Buwai of Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

He described them as “two honest public servants who have demonstrated the will to look away from graft and corruption.”

“I congratulate all the awardees. Even though COVID-19 has not permitted the kind of ceremony that you deserve, Nigeria is proud of you. You are a pride to your families, institutions and to Nigeria.

“These public service awards remind us of the need for value re-orientation and revival of ethics and integrity in national life,” the President said.

 THE PUNCH

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