Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says even the worst critics of President Muhammadu Buhari will not accuse him of indulging in or encouraging corruption.
“Nigeria has never had a more transparent, more accountable government than the Buhari Administration,” the Minister said when he received a TI delegation, led by the Chair of the body’s International Board, Delia Ferreira Rubio, in Abuja on Friday.
He also urged the global anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI) to support, rather than condemn, the Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.
”As a policy, this government is the most committed to fighting corruption. We need your support in the area of advocacy and capacity building,” he said.
He said TI and the local civil society organizations affiliated to it have not offered the necessary support to the administration, adding: ”They look at the actions of an aberrant few to condemn the government.”
Mohammed said when the government disclosed that just 55 people stole N1.34trillion between 2006 and 2013, and when it published the list of looters, in response to a challenge from the opposition, a section of the civil society was busy parroting the cliche that the allegations were one-sided, instead of supporting the government’s action.
He also tasked TI and its affiliates to show more understanding for the sociological complexities of fighting corruption in Nigeria, especially because it operates a federal system of government under which the Federal Government has no control over the actions of the federating states.
He said the administration was not just fighting corruption with laws and prosecution, but also with education and inclusiveness in government, citing the government’s ‘Change Begins With Me’ programme as an example of efforts to achieve attitudinal change among the citizenry.
He said Nigeria is succeeding in its anti-corruption fight because it is being led by a President whose integrity is beyond reproach, noting: ”Even his worst critics won’t say he indulges in or encourages corruption.”
In her own remarks, Rubio she decided to visit Nigeria, her first-ever visit to Africa, because the country can set the tone for the continent in the fight against corruption.
She said TI’s mandate is to offer support through civil society organizations and the private sector to foster the fight against corruption.
”We are not an opposition anywhere in the world,” she said. “We are just an NGO working in over 100 countries of the world. We are not enemies. We are here to help.”
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)