The President, Muhammed Buhari has said thats corruption is the cause of many major problems in the country which is a catalyst for poverty, insecurity, weak educational system, poor health facilities and services and many other ills of the society.
He made it known at the National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service, organised by SGF in collaboration with ICPC in the State house, Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him “government is working hard to overcome such ills. Corruption generally and public sector corruption, in particular, inhibits the ability of government to deliver infrastructure and basic services to the people.
He reiterated that on many occasions, corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria. “Corruption is furthermore a major threat to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the socio-economic transformation we are all working hard to bring about in Nigeria.
“I have been following with keen interest activities of the ICPC since I inaugurated the new Board in February this year. I am aware of major enforcement and preventive initiatives of the current Board of the ICPC such as the System Study Review, tracking of Zonal Intervention Projects, otherwise called Constituency Projects, your collaboration with the National Social Investment Office and other measures that you are pursuing” he said.
He noted that in the past ten years One trillion naira (N1trillion) has been appropriated for constituency projects yet the impact of such huge spending on the lives and welfare of ordinary Nigerians can hardly be seen.
“The first phase report of tracking these projects by ICPC confirms our worst fears that people at the grassroots have not benefited in terms commensurate with the huge sums appropriated for constituency projects since inception.
“I am therefore delighted that through the effort of ICPC some contractors are returning to site to execute projects hitherto abandoned and that project sponsors are being held to account.
“The ICPC has my full support and the support of this government to hold fully to account contractors, complicit public servants and project sponsors who divert funds meant for constituencies or other people-oriented welfare projects of our government or who by other means reduce the quality and value of such projects meant for our people” he said.
He added that the ICPC has intensified its preventive mandate, conducted System Studies and review of many MDAs to evaluate systems and processes relating to transparency and accountability in personnel and capital spending through which you successfully blocked over N9 Billion from being diverted from 2019 personnel budget.
“That was a proactive prevention measure. I have directed that all agencies of government must get on the IPPIS in order to eliminate the padding of personnel budgets. I urge ICPC to beam its searchlight on all agencies yet to get on the IPPIS and our e-government platform in order to fully halt the padding of personnel budgets and the diversion or misappropriation of capital budgets”, he said.
He said war against corruption cannot be won without prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment. “I urge every well-meaning Nigerian to join in the fight against corruption. I encourage the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts in public education, enlightenment and engagement with citizens. I also urge our development partners, civil society organizations, and the media to continue to support our efforts to strengthen ethical values and integrity in Nigeria.
“Enforcement activities by anti-corruption agencies continue to reveal that some public officers possess properties and assets way beyond their legitimate sources of income. Asset recovery cases in court also reveal that some of these criminally-minded public officials are quick to disown these properties during investigation and in court.