The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), says Nigerians will greatly miss President Mohammadu Buhari when he leaves office because of his unprecedented achievements especially in the area of fighting corruption.
Professor Sagay stated this at a media chat in Lagos on the scorecard of the president in the area of anti-corruption.
Click to listen to the radio report:
Professor Sagay said under president Buhari, a record over three thousand high profile corruption cases were effectively prosecuted.
He said the present administration had out-performed any other government in the country since independence in 1960.
” There is no gainsaying that corruption, in all its ramifications, has been the bane of Nigeria.
“Corruption has hindered the average citizen from getting a decent life. it has caused retrogression in all facets of our national life.
“While a few members of the elite control unimaginable wealth derived from corruption, the vast majority of Nigerians wallow in poverty.
“Therefore, the fight against corruption as a major objective of the Buhari Administration is a noble cause that must be continued.
“From 2015 to date, the Federal Government through the instrumentalities of its state agencies has done a lot to defeat corruption and the corrupt elements” he said.
Professor Sagay said through the determination of the president to fight corruption, Nigerians had begun to witness more transparency in the delivery of constituency projects by lawmakers, unlike before when such were avenues for siphoning money.
“The fight against corruption led to numerous prosecutions and convictions. A lot of property has been forfeited by looters. monies in both local and foreign currencies are being recovered. clearly, many government agencies are coming back to life , and the citizens are enjoying good services”.
In the area of recovering stolen funds, he noted that about a trillion naira worth of looted money had been recovered, with properties of corrupt persons seized especially in Abuja.
Professor Sagay pointed out recovered loot was ploughed back to the economy without being stolen again .
He said the government used several innovative instruments to block avenues of stealing money , as in the cases of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, that prevented government agencies from embezzling money, and the BVN which stopped corrupt persons from looting funds using multiple bank accounts.
According to Professor Sagay who identified building the capacity of anti-corruption agencies as among the biggest achievements of the committee, loot recovered from corrupt persons helped the present administration to expand social services to Nigerians such as the Home Grown School Feeding programme.
Others included the Npower programme of paying N30,000 monthly stipends to beneficiaries and Conditional Cash transfer Scheme of N5,000 monthly stipends to poor rural settlers.
Professor Sagay noted that through the fight against corruption, the fuel subsidy scam was halted, while the era of stealing through fake companies came to an end.
He said on the average, a total of 250 million dollars of stolen funds were repatriated to the country every three months.
According to Sagay, “some highlights in the present Administration fight against corruption include, phenomenally highest rate and quantity of looted assets recovered; the highest rate of and number of convictions; introduction of technology into the fight such BVN,TSA,IPPIS and Whistle Blowing; vigorous intervention to stop the P& ID colossal fraud of $9 billion and fuel subsidy scam halted”
“This level of intervention in the fight against corruption is unpresented. This Government has broken new grounds and records in the fight against corruption. This needs to be acknowledged and appreciated”.
He concluded that fighting corruption was not easy given that so many people were involved.
The Chairman of the President Advisory Committee Against Corruption, noted that to sustain the achievement, the media should not relent in its noble activities of investigating corrupt cases, while searchlight should also be beamed on state and local government levels, as well as the judiciary.
“Accordingly, more sustained efforts are required in fighting corruption and the liberation of the resources of the nation from the greed of the tiny elite. the success realized today in Nigeria arose because fighting corruption was brought into the government mix. as we urge our frontline Anti-corruption Agencies to continue their good work, we urge citizens to support them and all our law enforcement agencies for a better Nigeria.
Professor Sagay advised the incoming government to borrow a leaf from the Administration of President Buhari by being courageous in fighting corruption.