• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Corruption: Buhari vows to check `greed of a callous few’


President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for all arms of government to deploy resources to address the common needs of all citizens rather than the greed of a callous few.

The president made the call at the 2nd national summit on diminishing corruption and launch of the national ethics and integrity policy, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in Abuja on Monday. The summit has the theme: “Together Against Corruption’’.

According to him, the national ethics and integrity policy projects government’s aspiration for the rediscovery of cherished traditional ethical values of honesty, integrity, hard work, truth, justice, unity, faith and consideration for one another, irrespective of status or background.

He reiterated his earlier call on the judiciary to undertake reforms that would fast-track delivery of justice for the common good, adding that the nation needed a corruption-free public sector to achieve meaningful transformation.

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He said: “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. We also need ethical re-orientation of the people to achieve this goal. When we work together against corruption we can defeat it.’’

The president commended the office of the secretary to the government of the federation and the ICPC for the summit, and particularly for offering the opportunity for the three arms of government to play their roles in meeting the aspiration of Nigerians to have a corruption-free society.

He expressed delight over the recognition and participation of young Nigerians and non-state actors, especially the media and civil society, at the ICPC event, saying that nobody must be left behind and all hands must be on deck in the fight against corruption.

He also reiterated the role of preventive measures and public education and enlightenment against corruption.

According to him, the Federal Government, through the Open Treasury initiative, (TSA), GIFMIS, BVN and many more, is implementing different corruption prevention measures to track and retain government revenue for the use of the people.

He commended the ICPC for its enforcement and prevention measures, including system review of capital and personnel budget, regular analysis of the open treasury platform, enforcement action against diversion and mismanagement of public funds.

He also lauded the commission for working with Federal Inland Revenue Service to increase the number of companies and persons within the tax net, tracking of constituency project budget utilisation for the benefit of ordinary Nigerians, and its monitoring of the implementation of the budget by the Executive in key sectors like agriculture sector.

“The ICPC System Studies and Review, Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard of MDAs are excellent preventive measures for detection of early warning signs of the vulnerability of MDAs to corruption and a way of assisting government take note of MDAs that are prone to corruption and deserve closer scrutiny of government and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, at the event, stressed the need for stronger collaboration in fighting corruption.

He said: “The emphasis is to ensure that all hands are on deck. First of all, without the Legislature there wouldn’t have been the ICPC.

“In the fourth session of the National Assembly, the ICPC bill was passed, which was assented to by the then President, that is to tell you the level of the need and imperative for togetherness in the fight against corruption.

“When you have a judiciary that works to ensure that cases of corruption are treated with dispatch, you will agree with me that that will help in the fight against corruption.

“If a case of corrupt practice or alleged corrupt practice will last up to four, five, six or ten years or so, you’ll know that something is wrong and that is giving some kind of tacit support to the corrupt practice.

“But if there’s always some hurry in the treatment of such cases that will expedite action by the Judiciary to give support to the fight against corruption.”

The chief justice of the federation, Mohammed Tanko, reiterated the readiness of the judiciary to contribute its own quota in the fight against corruption.

According to him, the judiciary is ever poised to deploy every relevant legal tool at its disposal to whittle down the strength of corruption in the country.