‘We’re winning war against corruption’ – Buhari boasts

The President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has again declared that his administration was winning the war against corruption in the country.

He said the successes recorded so far by anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had bolstered Nigeria’s international image.

Buhari added that his government was poised to use cutting-edge information technology to strengthen the achievements and ensure that no government financial transaction was done in secret.

The President stated these on Tuesday in Kaduna at the Passing out parade of   Detective Inspector Course Five, of the EFCC.

Buhari said: “The fight against corruption is becoming much more effective. I make bold to say that Nigeria is winning the war against corruption. We have been working within the frameworks of National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP), National Anti-Corruption Strategy which is an adaptation of United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR).

“Several of the reforms have been effective for several years with great impact on revenue and expenditure management. These include; the Government Integrated, Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Treasury Single Account, and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

“Executive Orders, such as Preservation of Suspicious Assets Connected with Corruption (Executive Order 6), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Act 2018; and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2018 have been operating for a few years and effectively limiting system opportunities for corrupt practices.

“This administration, right from the inception, aligned with the Open Governance Partnership and Global Forum for Asset Recovery in addition to existing commitments to African Union and Economic Community of West African States’ Conventions Against Corruption, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

“These frameworks focus significantly on systems reforms in order to prevent corruption. Nigeria’s active participation in these global anti-corruption platforms means that the country is subjecting itself to periodic review of its progress in implementing the articles of conventions thus the fight against corruption.

”Our fight against corruption is being recognised by the international community as real and effective. The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance.

“The President of the 7th Session of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) had this to say when announcing Nigeria as Vice Chairman of Conference of State Parties: ‘It is an election well-deserved. Nigeria has demonstrated remarkable determination in the fight against corruption.’ Nigeria retained the position of vice chair of the 8th Session.

“During the 10th Session of the Conference of State Parties, the Implementation Review Group Report also noted the high number of Asset Recovery cases successfully initiated by Nigeria in cooperation with other countries under the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) framework.”

Stressing that his administration  was  poised to use cutting-edge information technology to combat administrative corruption and espouse fiscal transparency, Buhari explained that all government financial transactions would soon  be done in the open with the implementation of  the various reform agenda.

The President noted that the various national reforms and collaborative efforts with international organisations were designed to   strengthen anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria.

He added that he was “determined that recovered assets are effectively managed with greater impact on fiscal operations of government and social investment policies of our administration.”

He praised efforts of the EFCC in making the war against corruption effective.

“I congratulate the EFCC on its good work and I urge that the current level of success be sustained and accelerated.”

In his opening remarks, the acting Chairman of the EFCC. Ibrahim Magu, stated that corruption was deadlier than cancer, coronavirus, Ebola virus  and Lassa fever.

He also said the commission secured 1,893 convictions between 2015 and December 2019.

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