- President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed one of the greatest threats to the war against corruption
- According to Buhari, some agencies of government some still divert public funds or refuse to fully account for revenue generated
- The president said the abuse of public office for personal benefit, diversion of state revenue or miss-application of budgeted funds are all corruption
President Buhari has lamented that despite the anti-corruption war of his administration, some agencies of government are still diverting public funds.
Daily Trust reports that while speaking on Monday, February 4, during the inauguration of the board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), he said rather than obey constitutional provisions and extant rules and regulations, such agencies continue as if nothing has changed.
Legit.ng gathered that the president tasked the newly inaugurated board of the ICPC, chaired by Prof Bolaji Owasanoye to end corruption in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“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,” he said.
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Among the members of the board sworn in was a 27-year-old lawyer, Hannatu Muhammad (Jigawa), who is to represent youth in the board.
Others are; Grace Chinda (Delta, south-south), Okolo Titus (Enugu, southeast), Obiora Igwedebia (Anambra, southeast) and Olubukola Balogun (Lagos, southwest).
Others were Justice Adamu Bello (Katsina, northwest), Abdullahi Maikano Saidu (Niger, north-central)
“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," he said.
Buhari urged the 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.
“Furthermore, I look 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,” he said.
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The president further urged the board to come up with strong preventive policy measures and strategies for government’s endorsement to take the country 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," he said.
He said anti-corruption transparency unit in ministries, departments and a set up by the commission was an important step towards corruption prevention and ensuring full compliance with government’s anti-corruption measures and laws.
Buhari said: “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.”
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In his acceptance speech, Professor Owasanoye pledged that they would not disappoint the president.
“We are lucky to be given this assignment because under your leadership, you are unquestionable, unequivocal and unshakable resolve to deal with corruption is very well known.
“Therefore, the political will required to fight corruption is available. We will do our best not to disappoint you or disappoint the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Buhari swore in a new chairman and board members of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.
The new ICPC chairman is Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, who previously served as the executive secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
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