Buhari fighting corruption tooth and nail but has not won yet, VP Osinbajo says

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available for all.


The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is fighting corruption tooth and nail but has not won yet, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday.

Addressing a summit on corruption organized by a presidential advisory committee against corruption in Abuja, Mr Osinbajo said since 2015 much has been done in this battle against corruption.

VP Osinbajo with (L-R) Emir of Jiwa, Alhaji Idris Musa; Secretary, Education Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Isa Maina; 
Sen. Philip Aduda.

“But we are not even slightly deluded into thinking that we have won the battle, certainly not. We are still very far away but we must admit that we are much closer to finding solutions than when we began,” he said.

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Osinbajo added: “Our policy was to tackle grand corruption first. By this I mean the stealing of huge public resources directly from the treasury, usually at the behest of the highest levels of executive authority. And the stealing of budgeted funds through various schemes.
 
“How did we go about this – the enforcement of TSA, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, and even ensuring that most civil servants are on the IPPIS electronic platform (which simply is our way of ensuring that there are no ghost workers by putting all public officials including those in the Armed Forces and the police on the electronic payment platform) and this has greatly reduced ghost workers and ensured that all of our human resources are accounted for electronically.   

VP Osinbajo with (L-R) Emir of Jiwa, Alhaji Idris Musa; Secretary, Education Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Isa Maina; 
Sen. Philip Aduda.

“The judiciary also moved a little in recent times. The Supreme Court in a lead judgment of Akaahs JSC, recently held that forfeiture under Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act is a civil matter. So, it neither requires the criminal conviction of the property owner nor his innocence. This opens the door for forfeiture of assets that the purported owner cannot explain, whether or not there is an allegation of corruption.” 
 
Read the full text of the Vice President’s speech:
 
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE SUMMIT ON CORRUPTION ORGANISED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE AGAINST CORRUPTION (PACAC) ON TUESDAY MAY 14, 2019 AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA.
 
PROTOCOLS
 
 
The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) certainly deserves our commendation, not just for their sterling, innovative contributions to the fight against corruption but for regularly setting the agenda for important conversations on the subject. This meeting, called to discuss “A collaborative approach to eradicating the evils of Corruption” is notably one of such.
 
For years, corruption has been by far, Nigeria’s most devastating problem. A recent PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS (PwC) study titled the Impact of Corruption on the Nigerian Economy made the following general findings and conclusions on the effects of corruption.
 

  1. Corruption has a dynamic impact, which is felt more by poorer households and smaller companies.
     
     
  2. Countries with higher corruption are associated with lower tax revenues and lower expenditures as a percentage of GDP in the most important indicators of human development namely; health and education.
     
     
  3. Corruption is associated with erosion of talent in public institutions and therefore, government’s effectiveness is eroded.
     
     
  4. Corruption usually needs the creation of unnecessary bureaucracy, to enable further opportunities for bribes. This means that enforcement of contracts and property rights are hindered and weakened by corruption.
     
     
  5. Corruption is associated with lower investment; and higher prices and barriers to entry for businesses.
     
     
     
  6. Corruption is associated with lower average standard of living, education levels and greater inequality in society.
     
     
  7. Nigeria’s 2030 GDP can be up by at least USD 534bn if we reduce corruption. And they said that if we reduce corruption by about 20%, we can actually have higher GDP. So, it really doesn’t matter how much revenue a country makes or how transformative its plans are. If it allows corruption to thrive; if it ensures that the majority of the people do not benefit from all of the revenues or all that the country is able to produce; or simply truncates the plans of the nation. Which is why despite the highest oil revenues in our history (the period between 2010 and 2014) debt doubled and poverty figures rose.
     
    It is for these reasons that President Muhammadu Buhari famously warned that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us. Which is why a major pillar of our government’s socio-economic agenda is the fight against corruption. And which is why perhaps one of first bodies to be set up in 2015 by the President was PACAC.
     
    And since 2015 much has been done in this battle against corruption. But we are not even slightly deluded into thinking that we have won the battle, certainly not. We are still very far away but we must admit that we are much closer to finding solutions than when we began.
     
    Our policy was to tackle grand corruption first. By this i mean the stealing of huge public resources directly from the treasury, usually at the behest of the highest levels of executive authority. And the stealing of budgeted funds through various schemes.
     
    How did we go about this – the enforcement of TSA, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, and even ensuring that most civil servants are on the IPPIS electronic platform (which simply is our way of ensuring that there are no ghost workers by putting all public officials including those in the Armed Forces and the police on the electronic payment platform) and this has greatly reduced ghost workers and ensured that all of our human resources are accounted for electronically.   

The judiciary also moved a little in recent times. The Supreme Court in a lead judgment of Akaahs JSC, recently held that forfeiture under Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act is a civil matter. So, it neither requires the criminal conviction of the property owner nor his innocence. This opens the door for forfeiture of assets that the purported owner cannot explain, whether or not there is an allegation of corruption. 
 
We are now poised to deal with the wider problem of systemic corruption, especially where the average person interacts with government. It is that level of corruption that affects our people the most – where the average person is doing some business or is seeking some favour or some discretion from government. Corruption for example in the issuance of contracts, licenses and other government approvals. There is no reason why any Nigerian should have to pay bribes to law enforcement agents for obtaining drivers licenses or passports, or to clear goods at our ports.
 
All of the relevant government agencies have shown a serious commitment to eradicating these forms of corruption, our next level is to create the environment for collaboration between our agencies, civil society and other stakeholders.
 
But the most enduring solutions to ending corruption are those that take into account the fact the most potent weapon that corruption has, is its acceptance as the norm in any society. A situation where even the natural custodians of societal morality and values acquiesce in it, a situation where, in particular, religious pulpits, are silent about it.
 
An enemy configured in such complexity cannot be defeated by solely a law and order approach. It requires whole new national and individual re- orientation, a focus on attitudinal change. It must involve the collaboration of government, civil society especially the leadership of faith communities, school teachers and professional and other interest groups. This is why this meeting’s objectives are of great importance.
 
Finally, let me again congratulate PACAC on their landmark achievements in the past four years. Establishing PACAC was the first major action President Buhari took in the anti-corruption fight.
 
Since then, under the courageous and uncompromising leadership of one of the enduring sages in the legal profession and civil society, Professor Itse Sagay, PACAC has moved from strength to strength. Professor Sagay’s interventions on various critical issues of governance, the rule of law and corruption have definitively pointed opinion in the morally and legally just direction.
 
We must also congratulate PACAC on the recent Senate confirmation of your former Executive Secretary Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye as Chairman of the ICPC.
 
Our struggle against corruption is one for the soul and substance of our Nation.  The battle must be a collective one, corruption fights back with venom, guile and force, it is relentless and unashamed we who fight it must meet it with greater resolve and force. We can only win by working together with a common vision.
 
While thanking you for listening it is now my pleasure and privilege to formally declare this meeting open.
 
 
Released by
 
Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President 
 

[/read_more]

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

300,504FansLike
227FollowersFollow
6FollowersFollow
1FollowersFollow
906FollowersFollow
138SubscribersSubscribe

JUST IN

Mali’s new president, 70-year old former defense minister Bah Ndaw, sworn in following coup

Newly sworn in Mali's president is 70-year old former defense minister Bah Ndaw. President Ndaw was inaugurated on Friday, five weeks...

WHO says only $35 billion needed to end acute phase of COVID-19 in the world

The World Health Organization (WHO) says $35 billion is needed to end the acute phase of COVID-19 pandemic in the world...

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he’s okay with money politics and vote buying

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday he is okay with money politics and vote buying but against election violence.

Rights group calls for “urgent changes” ahead of October presidential vote in Guinea

A human rights organization on Friday called for "urgent changes" ahead of October presidential vote in Guinea, citing legislative elections and...

WHO says social and environmental factors behind Africa’s low COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 transmission in Africa has been marked by relatively fewer infections, which have been on the decline over the past two...

MOST POPULAR

Ethiopia charges prominent opposition figure Jawar Mohammed with terrorism

As human rights organizations continue to warn that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is turning Ethiopia into a dictatorship, his administration on...

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Bill Gates praises Africa’s response to COVID-19 but warns against collateral damage

Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Sunday praised Africa's response to the novel coronavirus but warned against collateral damage, including a drastic...

Activists warn Nigerian President bill will render anti-corruption agency EFCC ‘a toothless bulldog’

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to “urgently instruct Mr...

Ramphosa urges world leaders to fight racism, grant Africa more Security Council seats, lift sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan and cancel continent’s interests on debt

African Union Chairperson, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Tuesday, urged the United Nations General Assembly to fight racism,...

Nigerian reps ready for e-parliament

The House of Representatives is set for electronic conduct of its legislative activities on the floor of the chamber when it reconvene on Tuesday, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said on Friday.Gbajabiamila, who assured that the e-parliament promised by the 9th House on its inauguration in June last year would commence on resumption from annual vacation, expressed satisfaction that it...

[/read_more]

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Share
WhatsApp
Reddit
Tweet
Share