By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has observed that massive corruption and looting of public funds which became the order of the day during the last administration have brought the country to almost a standstill.
The Governor at the State Anti-corruption launch in Bauchi Monday said that the future of Nigeria as a successful nation depends largely on how it executes its anti-corruption drive.
He told the summit tagged, “I support the fight against corruption in Bauchi State” that all developed nations of the World attained their development after successfully fighting corruption to a halt.
Organized by the Foundation for Transparency and Accountability, ICPC and the Central Bank of Nigeria, in conjunction with the Bauchi State Government, the summit has the theme “Transparency & Accountability: A Panacea to Good Governance & Sustainable Development”.
The governor said positive attitude among Nigerians is pertinent to the success of anticorruption campaign pointing out that first stage of the fight against corruption starts with organizing the summit.
He lamented that the fight against corruption over the years has only been restricted to the governments, assuring that his administration is working assiduously to extend the campaign to all strata of life by promoting value change.
“My administration was quick in recognizing the importance of transparency and accountability as the basic requirements for nurturing good governance, especially in emerging democracies like Nigeria’s”, he stated.
Abubakar recalled that his administration has in the last nineteen months ensured that due process was followed in the award of contracts, with anticorruption efforts succeeding because the media, traditional, and community leaders have been drafted into the programme
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC), Barrister Ekpo Nta has in a Keynote address commended the Bauchi State government for the initiative, adding that government must check and stop corrupt practices at all levels.
He said that the ICPC has been partnering with government at all levels and the private sector in order to address and tackle the menace of corrupt practices in the country.
Barr. Ekpo Nta added that the partnership is aimed at strengthening the capacities of the various machineries and policies to fight corruption so that the country can move forward.
Nta promised that the ICPC will help Bauchi State develop a sound anti-corruption mechanism in the state which will help its officials to be more transparent and accountable in their dealings.
The commission chairman explained that the summit seeks to make Bauchi state service and other revenue generating institutions corruption-free so as to save enough resources to execute projects the people need.
According to him, most states can pay their workers’ salaries if only the workers were verified, and assured the state of his commission’s readiness to provide support in establishing the Bauchi State Anticorruption Agency.
House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Anti-Corruption, Akinloye Babajide said that if corruption is tackled appropriately, most of Nigeria’s problems will be solved.
Hon. Akinloye Babajide opined that almost all the challenges facing Nigeria today including Boko Haram and its ills stemmed from corruption.
He also noted that corruption as being practiced with impunity in the country has directly or indirectly killed more Nigerians than any other known cause including diseases and epidemics.
Babajide said that apart from the body language and the determination of President Buhari to fight corruption, Nigerians as stakeholders must help to make sure that the fight is sustained through strong commitment and institutions to fight it to a standstill.
Bauchi state commissioner for Justice, Barrister Ibrahim Yakubu Umar had in a welcome address expressed the commitment of Bauchi state government to the anti-corruption war, revealing that arrangements are being concluded for the establishment of Bauchi Anticorruption Agency which to take the fight against graft to all nooks and crannies of the State.
Barr. Ibrahim Umar who noted that only Kano State out of the entire federation has such an agency, urged the ICPC to treat the issue of budget padding in every legislative arm of government as corruption contrary to what some politicians want Nigerians to see it.
Highlights of the occasion was the unveiling of banners, stickers and other campaign tools by the ICPC chairman, Barrister Ekpo Nta, Governor Abubakar supported by his deputy, Engineer Nuhu Gidado.
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi.