As part of its efforts to end systemic corruption and make corruption unattractive across the nation, the Federal government has given an account of its anti-corruption fight in the last five years, saying it secured no fewer than 1,400 convictions and recovered over N800 billion from corrupt individuals.
As stated, the convictions and recovered funds were not inclusive of ill-gotten properties which were forfeited by individuals who could not explain or justify their source of income, and that there was enough proof to back its claim on the feat achieved during the period under review.
The apex government explained that the ongoing probe in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was to further show Nigerians that the government would stop at nothing in rooting corruption out of the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the breakdown of the apex
Mohammed, who gave a breakdown of the government’s anti-corruption fight during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would not reduce the speed and seriousness with which it has tackled, and is still tackling corruption across the country.
“As I said earlier, this Administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim. This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of 800 billion Naira, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties. This is no mean feat.
“Remember, gentlemen, that the fight against corruption is not about loot recovery or convictions alone. We are also putting in place enduring institutional reforms that will deter acts of corruption. Here we are talking about the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Whistleblower Policy, the expansion of the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System and the Open Government Partnership and Transparency Portal on Financial Transactions, among others,’’ the Minister said.
Mohammed noted that the allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies, including the NDDC, NSITF and EFCC and subsequent probe were a testament to the administration’s resolve that there is no sacred cow in the ongoing fight against corruption in the country.
“Let me state here and now that the fight against corruption, a cardinal programme of this administration, is alive and well. President Muhammadu Buhari, the African Union’s Anti-Corruption Champion, who also has an impeccable reputation globally, remains the driver of the fight and no one, not the least the PDP under whose watch Nigeria was looted dry, can taint his image or reverse the gains of the fight. Anyone who disagrees that the anti-corruption fight is alive and well is free to dare us.
“What the revelations of the past few weeks, especially the investigation of the nation’s anti-corruption Czar, have shown is that this administration is not ready to sweep any allegation of corruption under the carpet; that there is no sacred cow in this fight, and that – unlike the PDP – we will not cover up for anyone, including the members of our party and government, who faces corruption allegations. Our fight against corruption is blind to party affiliation, position in government, and any other consideration. If the nation’s anti-corruption Czar can be investigated, then the fight against corruption cannot be deemed to be fake, neither can it be said to be waning.
“Therefore, those who are celebrating the so-called waning of the administration’s anti-corruption fight are engaging in wishful thinking, and are not looking at the full ramifications of the fight,’’ he added.