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Reformed and forthright judiciary is a must for Nigeria to win the anti-graft battle, President Muhmmadu Buhari reiterated on Monday.
The President pointed out the need for the three arms of government on one hand and the three levels of governance to join hands against the menace of corruption.
Speaking on Monday at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption and launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the President Buhari noted that Nigeria needs a corruption-free public sector to achieve set goals.
The event was organised to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ICPC and the policy was put together by the anti-corruption agency, in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
He reiterated his earlier call on the judiciary to undertake reforms that would fast-rack delivery of justice.
Buhari said: “We need to deploy resources to address our common needs rather than the greed of a callous few. We need a corruption-free public sector to achieve this transformation; we need a judicial system that dispenses justice without undue delay and technicality.
“We need laws and legal system to be reformed to deliver justice to every citizen without regard to status and finally we need ethical re-orientation of the people to achieve this goal. When we work together against corruption we can defeat it.”
According to him, progress could only be achieved in the delivery of dividends when the arms and tiers of government work together.
He said: “I believe that it is when the three arms and the three levels of government work together that government will be enabled to serve the country. We will also see the positive impact of our efforts reaching all and sundry across the country.
“Bearing this critical factor in mind, I am happy that the theme of this year’s summit by ICPC is: ‘Together against corruption’. I am aware that this theme derives from the theme of our 60th anniversary celebration.
“Together as a nation, as a people, the three arms and three tiers of government working together, we can attack corruption and realise the vast potentials of our country.”
Speaking further, the President noted that the National Ethics and Integrity Policy expressed the intent of the administration for the rediscovery of national ethics and values, which have no room for corrupt disposition.
”This administration is to project government’s aspiration for rediscovery of our cherished traditional ethical values of honesty, integrity, hard-work, truth and justice, unity, faith, and consideration for one another, irrespective of status or background. Corruption and corruptive tendencies are abhorrent to these core ethical values.”
The President recalled that, “as military Head of State, I fought corruption headlong and held public officers who abused their office or misused public funds to account. Furthermore, I introduced the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), one of whose cardinal objectives was promotion of our cherished culture of ethical conduct, integrity and hard work.
“I recognised in 1984 as I do even more now that corruption poses a clear danger to Nigeria. So, we cannot relent in efforts to eradicate it from our society. As I have often reminded Nigerians, if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”
The President identified enlightenment as key component in fighting corruption. He commended the ICPC in this regard.
He said: “I wish to reiterate the role of preventive measures, public education and enlightenment against corruption. This government through the Open Treasury initiative, TSA, GIFMIS, BVN and many more is implementing different corruption prevention measures to track and retain government revenue for the use of the people.
“I commend the ICPC for its enforcement and prevention measures including system review of capital and personnel budget, regular analysis of the Open Treasury platform and enforcement action against diversion and mismanagement of public funds.”