President Muhammadu Buhari says despite his administration’s fight against corruption, some government agencies still divert or refuse to fully account for revenues generated.
Buhari disclosed this during the swearing-in of board members of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) at the state house, Abuja, on Monday.
He said the ordinary people in the country understand and support his administration’s fight against corruption, adding that those opposing the fight against corruption are only pretending not to know what it is.
He reminded the members that their appointment is a call to service and critical in his government’s agenda.
“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.
“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.
“The abuse of public office for private gain represents corruption in its worst form. 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.
“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.”
The president expressed his determination to ensure that every agency of government accounts for public revenue generated or spent.
He also reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption in the nation.
“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.
“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 the old saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Your statutory mandate recognizes this principle. Therefore, I encourage you to come up with strong preventive policy measures and strategies for government’s endorsement to take us to the NEXT LEVEL in the fight against corruption.
“My resolve to fight corruption remains unshaken. I assure you of my full support in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.”