Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, says the fight against corruption has not been won despite efforts being made by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Mustapha spoke on Tuesday with other stakeholders at an event in Abuja, tagged, ‘One-day dialogue session on strengthening the anti-corruption agenda: ensuring accountability and transparency’ which was co-organised by PACAC and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
The SGF, who was represented by Amina Shamaki, permanent secretary on special services, said the Buhari administration has recorded unprecedented level of success in the fight against corruption by securing the most number of convictions, including very high profile personalities and making world record recoveries in terms of money and assets.
Mustapha said there is a need to bring about “innovative legislations, policies, and measures to deal decisively with the lingering acts of corruption”.
“Nonetheless, we should not rest on our oars with the illusion that the war has been won despite the level of the successes I have enumerated,” he was quoted as saying.
“While the fight has been very successful in tackling monumental corruption, fewer grandeur cases are perceived and even reported.
“While the government has displayed uncommon courage to relieve its appointees especially, in its agencies, of their positions and responsibilities, there still exist some level of infractions on public procurement act and other laws. These tend to diminish the efforts of government in this direction.
“I should like to see the office of the auditor-general for the federation come up with innovative policies and measures to empower auditors to halt any payment that is clearly in breach of public procurement act, financial regulations, public service rules in particular, and other laws, in general.
“For such auditors that compromise, or are complicit, such policies and measures should isolate them for disciplinary action which should not preclude prosecution.”
The SGF also suggested that existing financial intelligence unit structure be adopted for sharing intelligence on corruption.
Itse Sagay, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), listed the consequence of corrupt acts to include massive unemployment, unequipped clinics and hospitals, wretched schools, colleges and universities without facilities, bad roads and lack of electric power.
“Deaths on the roads, deaths at hospitals, deaths at maternity facilities, follow and militants, kidnappers, armed robbers, murders, suicides are also a direct product of this Nigerian culture,” he said.
On her part, Idayat Hassan, director of CDD director, who was represented by Lukman Adefolahan, the organisation’s senior programme officer, said a lot needs to be done to fight corruption.