President Muhammadu Buhari has said “glaring endemic corruption that engulfed the country” prior to the emergence of the All Progressives Congress government was one of the factors responsible for his victory in the 2015 presidential election.
The president stated this when he declared open the Corruption Risk Assessment training for heads and senior officials of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the African Union on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari observed that the “pervasive nature and devastating impact of corruption” across the country before the election was problematic.
He, however, said that his administration was taking steps to institute integrity and transparency in the processes of governance and would hold those indicted for plundering the nation’s resources to account.
“When we assumed office in May 2015, the pervasive nature and devastating impact of corruption on the Nigerian nation had made it become dysfunctional.
“The momentum for our electoral victory could not be separated from the revolt of the people against glaring endemic corruption.
“During the past several months, we have been taking steps to institute integrity and transparency in the processes of governance and holding those who have plundered our commonwealth to account for their actions.
“However, the costs of recovery and sanctions are also enormous. While commendable successes have been recorded, it has become manifest that corruption fights back.
“With enormous stolen resources, elements have attempted to compromise law enforcement institutions and pervert the course of justice,” he said.
The President said the fight against corruption was a battle for the souls of African countries, which, he said, must be won.
He noted that since independence, the African continent had suffered from severe consequences of corruption, saying, “it is imperative that we take steps to reverse the trend.”
He, therefore, enjoined leaders to continue to implement policies that would build resilient systems to withstand assault by corrupt officials.
The President said that Nigeria, for its part, had taken steps in this direction.
He said the measures included full implementation of the Treasury Single Account and the Bank Verification Number, the Open Government Partnership, various Executive Orders, strengthening of anti-corruption agencies and permitting their full autonomy.
“It is in this context of building robust preventive systems that we must understand this initiative which aims to train leaders of anti-corruption agencies in the African Union by deploying Corruption Risk Assessment Methodology for corruption prevention in our countries.”