President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his resolve to fight corruption remains unshaken as he inaugurated the board of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), which included 27-year-old Hannatu Muhammad as a member.
Muhammad was appointed as one of the board members to represent the youth in compliance with the provision of the ICPC Act, which stipulates that the board shall include “a youth not being less than 21 or more than 30 years of age at the time of his or her appointment.”
The chairman of the board is Bolaji Owasanoye, who was screened and cleared by the senate in 2018, as the chairman of the commission. Other members are Grace Chinda (Delta); Olubukola Balogun (Lagos); Okolo Titus-(Enugu); Obiora Iqwedebia (Anambra); Adamu Bello (Katsina); Abdullahi Maikanu Saidu (Niger) and Yahaya Umah Daudu (Nasarawa).
President Buhari during the event said that his resolve to make the fight against corruption one of the cardinal objectives of his administration was unshaken and promised to continue with the fight in his second tenure if given another mandate.
He reminded the board members that their appointment was a call to national service in a sector that is critical to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government agenda, adding that the fight against corruption was key to his government.
The President said he was poised to “pursue and will continue to pursue as I seek the mandate of Nigerians for a second term. “The fight against corruption is very crucial in our national development. This is why I have often said – if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”
“Corruption has negatively affected our political, economic and social life. Those opposed to our fight against corruption berate us for our focus, determination and single mindedness. President Buhari said those opposed to the fight against corruption pretend that they do not know what corruption is, but he assured that ordinary people know what corruption is and they support the government effort and determination to fight it.
He said the abuse of public office for private gain represents corruption in its worst form just like the diversion of State revenue or miss-application of budgeted funds.
“I am particularly delighted that the ICPC law under which you will operate is robust enough to assist government to sanitize the public sector of corruption in service delivery, public procurement, diversion of public revenue, deliberate misuse of public funds, and so on.
He admitted that despite the administration anti-corruption drive, some agencies of government still divert or refuse to fully account for revenue generated.
He enjoined the new ICPC board to collaborate with other government agencies such as the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation towards mitigating wrong-doing in public expenditure. He particularly said he looked forward to receiving anti-corruption recommendations linked to e-Government standards and principles.
“As the old saying goes – “Prevention is better than cure”. Your statutory mandate recognizes this principle. Therefore, I encourage you to come up with strong preventive policy measures and strategies for government’s endorsement to take us to the NEXT LEVEL in the fight against corruption. I am aware that the ICPC laws empowers you to make proposals to assist government in this fight. “Just about a month ago, I opened your Corruption Risk Assessment training for anti-corruption agencies in Africa. That initiative, in support of my role as the AU anti-corruption champion is welcome, and I Iook forward to seeing ICPC distinguish itself as a leading institution in Africa in building capacity to conduct and implement corruption risk assessments.
“But charity must begin at home. Therefore, your skills and expertise must be demonstrated in identifying MDAs highly prone to corruption and what must be done to bring about better governance.
“I am also aware that you have set up Anti-Corruption Transparency Unit in Ministries, Departments and Agencies. This is an important step towards corruption prevention and ensuring full compliance with government’s anti-corruption measures and our laws. “I encourage you to make effective use of our ACTU in MDAs by receiving reports directly from such Units and taking enforcement measures to assist government realize its objectives of a cleaner public service,” the president said.
Owasanoye swearing to “eschew, expose and fight corruption” in Nigeria, said that he was encouraged by “the unquestionable, unshakeable and unequivocal stand of Mr. President against corruption, which indicated a very strong political will to fight corruption”.
He promised the president that the new board members would not disappoint the nation in their assignment. 0000000000000