President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed his administration’s performance in three key areas he said formed part of the focused areas of his government.
The president also vowed to sanction those who bring in personnel into the public workforce by illegal recruitment, pad their payroll and retain ghost workers, Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja.
The president stated this while declaring open the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja.
The event being organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has drawn stakeholders from both public and private sectors on the theme of how to eliminate corruption for better service delivery.
The President warned that his administration would not hesitate to punish Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, that fraudulently present new projects as ongoing projects in the budget.
According to the President, his administration has focused on security, economy and fight against corruption since 2015, with considerable success.
He noted that despite immense potential in the country, it has been handicapped by corruption and imbalanced economy and insecurity.
Speaking on cost of governance, he said his administration was able to reduce the cost by maintaining “our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects.
According to Buhari, his administration “has noted from the activities of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects.
‘‘Necessary action and sanctions will continue against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard,’’ he said.
He noted that the theme of the summit, ‘Corruption and Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, “Reminds us of the negative impacts of unnecessary cost of governance and offers an opportunity for critical stakeholders to offer suggestions on ways to further reduce the cost of governance and promote transparency and accountability in government expenditure.
He expressed delight that the Legislative and Judicial arms of government are also under focus on managing the cost of governance, noting that government is a collective and is not the business of the Executive arm of government alone.
‘He said the adoption of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy by the Federal Executive Council has led to some public officers demonstrating the core values of ethics, integrity and patriotism, who have also been identified for their sterling anti-corruption disposition in their workplaces.
The President presented the 2021 Public Service Integrity Awards to some Nigerians, notable among which was one Ikenna Steve Nweke, the Nigerian PhD student in Japan who found a wallet containing a very large amount of money and other valuables returned it to the Japanese police.
He declined 10 per cent of the money offered to him as a reward, to which Buhari said, “I am also happy to note the ICPC special award to Ikenna Steve Nweke, a Nigerian Ph.D student from Imo State studying in Japan.
‘‘He has done Nigeria proud in far-away Japan by displaying traditional Nigerian values of honesty and integrity and returning a wallet containing a very large sum of money and other valuables to the police.
‘‘I join the ICPC in declaring him ICPC CITIZENS ANTI-CORRUPTION VOLUNTEER GROUP ICON.
‘‘He is indeed an icon and a beacon for our youths. I also congratulate all those to be awarded the ICPC Certificate of Integrity through their agencies.’’