President Muhammadu Buhari has identified corruption as the biggest problem impeding Nigeria’s economic growth and development and the major factor responsible for the suffering of millions of Nigerians.
He made the remark at the 49th Annual Accountant Conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Abuja.
The theme of the conference was “Building Nigeria for Sustainable Growth and Development.’’ Said Buhari: “I urge you now to always see corruption in its true colour as a gross violation of human right. Corruption is the major reason why millions of our people are in hardship, sick and helpless.”
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the president said corruption prevents good governance and encourages misappropriation of public funds, stiffens innovation, infrastructure development and investments “Our fight against corruption is in reality a struggle for nation building and the future. Corruption and impunity becomes widespread when accountability is disregarded,” he said.
“Disrespect for accountability also strives when people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them. Corruption is the major reason why many children cannot go to school, why we have few equipments and doctors in our hospitals.
“Corruption diverts public resources thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary death in the country. Therefore, if we do not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, we will not get the result that we need,” the president added.
Buhari reiterated that the government was committed to achieving structural economic change and a more diversified and inclusive economy. He said that it was for this reason that he had signed many executive orders aimed at improving the business conditions in the country.
Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu called on Nigerians to join the fight against corruption.
Magu said the fight against corruption could not be won if it was left alone to the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies.