Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies have recovered over N800 billion of stolen public funds while more than 1,400 convictions have been recorded under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The President said so himself this morning in a national broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day, in which he also thanked Nigerian journalists for their dogged determination and efforts towards sustaining the nation’s democracy despite the “heavy price” they have had to pay for it.
He said that the monies and assets recovered from convicted looters have been ploughed back into development and infrastructure projects across the country.
Buhari pledged to sustain the tempo and support every on-going reforms designed to return discipline, integrity and patriotism as the hallmark of the public service, which he recognised as the bedrock for the formulation and implementation of his administration’s policies and programmes.
His words: “Government has continued to implement accountability and transparent policies through the Open Government Partnership and the transparency portal on financial transactions.
“Similarly, we have strengthened auditing and accountability mechanisms so as to ensure that rules and regulations are followed strictly.
“Anti-Corruption Agencies have secured more than 1,400 convictions and also recovered funds in excess of N800 billion. These monies are being ploughed into development and infrastructure projects.
“The Public Service of Nigeria remains the bedrock for the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the country. This accounts for why it continues to evolve especially as new socio-economic challenges emerge for Government to address.
“I will continue to give all the necessary support for the on-going reforms designed to return discipline, integrity and patriotism as the hallmark of the public service.”
For the Nigerian media, the President acknowledged a not-so-smooth relationship between journalists and government, including his, but pledged to guarantee freedom of the Press as he places high premium on responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news.
According to Buhari, “I will also like to convey our deep appreciation to members of the Press for your doggedness in the struggle for attainment of democracy since the beginning of our nationhood.
“I must admit that the relationship between the media and successive governments has not always been perfect. But there is no denying the fact that you have been an effective watchdog for the society especially in holding public officers to account.
“It is sad that in the course of securing our democracy, some of your colleagues have had to pay a heavy price.
“We will continue to guarantee freedom of the Press as we place high premium on responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news and other unethical professional conduct.”