President Muhammadu Buhari says the fight against corruption is crucial for the development of Nigeria.
The President made the remark on Monday while swearing-in the Chairman and members of the Board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC.
He urged the Chairman and members of the Board to see their appointment as a call to service as they have been found worthy of such appointments.
I congratulate the Chairman and members of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC Board for being found worthy to serve our country on this important assignment. Your appointment is a call to service in an important sector and segment critical in our government's agenda.
Today's occasion is the continuation of this Administration's fight against corruption. It is a cardinal programme in the three point agenda that I promised 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, he said.
The President noted that corruption has done a lot of damage to Nigeria in the past and the trend cannot continue.
He said: We are all witnesses to the damage that unbridled corruption has inflicted on our development aspirations. Apart from deliberate and wanton looting of our national wealth and common patrimony, corruption has eroded our values and ethical foundation as a nation.
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. They pretend that they do not know what corruption is. But Nigerians know what corruption is. Ordinary people know what corruption is and they support our effort and determination to fight it.
Similarly, he frowned at those who abuse public trust, which he described as the worst form of corruption.
The abuse of public office for private gain represents corruption in its worst form. The circumvention of public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit is another form of corruption. The abuse of public office for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs is also corruption. The diversion of State revenue or miss-application of budgeted funds falls into the same category, the President stated.
He therefore charged the new Board of the ICPC to assist government in its quest to sanitise and revamp the public sector and make it free of corruption.
He further called on the ICPC to collaborate with relevant government agencies, to rid the country of corruption.
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.
As I have noted in recent times, despite our anti-corruption drive, some agencies of government still divert or refuse to fully account for revenue generated. Rather than obey constitutional provisions and extant rules and regulations, such agencies continue as if nothing has changed,
We are determined to ensure that every agency of government account for public revenue generated or expended. I am looking forward to ICPC's support both for enforcement of anti-corruption laws and submission of policy measures and directives to prevent revenue leakage and diversion. In this regard, I urge you to collaborate with other government agencies such as the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation towards mitigating wrong-doing in public expenditure. Furthermore, I look forward to receiving anti-corruption recommendations linked to e-Government standards and principles. he said.
Furthermore, the President directed ICPC to introduce strong preventive policy measures and strategies for government's endorsement, in order to take Nigeria to the NEXT LEVEL in the fight against corruption.
Speaking on behalf of others, Chairman of the Board, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said they were lucky to be given such a big task.
He said President Buhari's leadership resolve to deal with corruption is very well known. Thus, the political will to fight the menace is there.
He therefore pledged that the Commission will do its best not to disappoint the President and Nigerians in general.
Members of the ICPC Board sworn-in alongside Owasanoye were Dr Grace Chinda, Okolo Titus, Obiora Igwedebia, Mrs Olubukola Balogun, Justice Adams Bello, Hannatu Muhammed, Abdullahi Saidu, and Yahaya Dauda.
Source: Voice of Nigeria