…Set to release new strategies towards subduing corruption***
Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s derogative appellation as the world’s poverty capital, the Senate on Tuesday said it has found a link between the nation’s poverty and corruption.
The Senate Presdent, Ahmad Lawan who disclosed this also pledged to release to the public within the next few weeks, new strategies towards fighting and defeating corruption.
“We also find out that there is undeniable linkage between corruption, insecurity, lost developmental opportunity and poverty”, the Senate President said.
Speaking at a two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja, an event organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Lawan, who was represented by Sen. Suleiman Kwari, also said that the senate just discovered that the anti graft war was far from over, hence the need for the action.
“The next few weeks, new surveys on corruption will be released to the public.
“For us in Parliament, one of the four challenges of this senate is how to forge a strong collaborating linkage with at least six standing committees of the Senate with overlapping oversight jurisdictions.
“Today, I am pleased to inform you of the senate leadership approval of a legislative forum to fight corruption and financial crime within the Senate vault,” he said.
He added that the senate would continue to reach out to all the stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
“Graft is a borderless and global problem that must be handled in all ramifications and we therefore require a concerted effort of all to eradicate it.
“In Nigeria today, there are at least 20 different legislations that have direct bearing on the fight against corruption and financial crime.
“As a direct result, we are exploring all available options to strengthen specific institutions like the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“If they have to succeed they have to be well funded so that they can be well empowered to carry out their mandate,” he added.
The Senate President said “over the next budget circle, we will be systematically increasing the funding of law enforcement and other anti-corruption agencies.
“We will also be benchmarking their performance to ensure value for tax payers’ money are met.”
Mr Boss Mustapha, SGF, in an address of welcome said that the summit was organised for top government officials drawn from the three arms of government as part of new strategies against corruption.
He said that the present administration has recorded some success in the area of fight against corruption.
The SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari was honoured as Africa Champion in the fight against corruption in recognition of his effort in the region.
He said that at domestic level, several policies were being implemented to address corrupt practices in the public sector, which was now yielding positive results.
“This summit therefore present the opportunity to reevaluate the effectiveness of these measures put in place and where necessary develop new strategies to strengthen our common resolve to rid the public sector of corrupt practices.
“The brainstorming session is to seek ways of blocking identified gaps in the fight against corruption crusade in the present administration and as a further guide in the implementation of ways to cup corrupt practices in the public sector.
“Today’s event is epochal as it stands to evaluate the successes recorded so far and find solutions to where there are weaknesses and the need to recognise and reward anti-corruption ambassadors,” he said.
On his part, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammad Tanko, appealed to Nigerians to stop seeing corruption as a way of life but embraced modesty to erase any trace of corruption in the country.
He said that the ongoing war against corruption by the ICPC has gained good result and the international community have changed their negative perspective about the country.
He noted that the Commission has secured several prosecutions with some sentences through the court.