Don’t Reward Corruption, Jonathan Tells Nigerians
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged Nigerians not to reward corruption by acknowledging “people who have what they are not supposed to have“.
Jonathan stated this in Abuja at the 54th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) with the theme: “Institutions, Institutional Reforms and Economic Development: Analytical and Policy Perspectives“.
The President said that the fight against corruption should be a collective effort and not a task that should be left to the government alone.
“I want a society where all of us will frown against people who come up with what they are not supposed to have.
“A young man who just starts work and you know his salary, within six months or a year comes up with a car of seven to N15 million and you clap for him.
“Then, you are the one rewarding corruption.
“To bring corruption down in Nigeria is not just blaming government or police but all individuals must frown at people who have what they are not supposed to have, who live in houses they are not supposed to live and who drive cars that they are not supposed to drive.“
Jonathan said that government had introduced computerised system to manage government finances and that efforts were being made to strengthen the judiciary and other institutions to fight corruption in the country.
He said that development could only be achieved and sustained with a strong financial institutional framework in place.
He said that it was in line with it that government was making effort to ensure that Transformation Agenda and institutional reforms were implemented.
The President said that over the years, government had also tried to ensure that institutions changed the way they did things by exploring new ideas.
“Take the example of public financial management, how we implement our budgets, pay salaries and how we manage government accounts.
“For many years the process had been done manually with government officials carrying documents and files from one office to another.
“This manual process created the opportunities for various corrupt leakages and also introduced many ghost workers and ghost pensioners to the pay roll,’’ he said
According to the President, government will focus on the power and agriculture sectors to build strong institutions to encourage the kind of efficiency that would foster economic growth.
He added that government would ensure that investors made the power sector to work in order to meet the demands of Nigerians for steady power supply.
Earlier in a keynote address, Prof. John Ohiorhenuan of Columbia University said that corruption remained a major challenge to economic growth and development in Nigeria.
He also said that effort should be made to build the integrity of the judiciary.
The don advised the government to strengthen national patrimonies such as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the NNPC so that they would not be used as conduits for the diversion of government money.
He advised government to educate state officials on the implication of corrupt practices, saying such officials needed to be punished if found culpable.
He called on the media and non-governmental organisations to help in reporting and monitoring government activities as such would go a long way to check corruption in the country.
Wike, Promise Keeper – Eze Gbakagbaka
His Majesty, Eze Oha Evo III, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as an astute leader and a promise keeper.
Eze Eke stated this when he spoke with newsmen at the commissioning of Rumuigbo internal roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, yesterday.
Governor Wike, he said, has so far proven that he has the interest of the state at heart, and expressed satisfaction over the Governor’s continuous project execution even towards the end of his administration.
According to him, the internal roads built by Governor Wike have opened the area to new trench of business and economic activities.
He noted that the community has now become a bee hive of business activities due to the roads.
The Evo King recalled how floods ravaged the area in recent times, but said such now belong to history due to Wike’s intervention.
On the recently commissioned phase one of the Trans-Kalabari Road, he said it has exposed the riverine communities to business activities as well.
He noted that the prices of commodities in the area will now stabilise as more business operators will be trooping into the place.
“The jinx of monopolistic operation is now broken. Everyone in the area will now be moved to do one business or the order. I think the Trans-Kalabari Road is one in million. Kudos to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike”, he said.
He also called on the people to jettison all forms of rancour and acrimony and give the in-coming administration under the leadership of Sir Siminialayi Fubara the needed support in order to enable him execute more people-oriented projects like the out going governor.
The monarch, who supported the idea of ‘Consolidated Government’, revealed that it would bring about rapid development in the state.
“My thinking is that Consolidation is necessary. For instance, the beauty of governance in Lagos State is that they maintained one party over the years, which has addressed the issue of abandoned projects”, he said.
The Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has executed more projects in the state than any other government with no record of abandoned project.
By: King Onunwor
Pensioners Demand Separate Ministry Under Tinubu’s Govt
Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a ministry that will be saddled solely with the responsibility of addressing the plights of retirees in the country.
The South-West zone of NUP made the call after its quarterly meeting in Abeokuta, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of NUP from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP in the zone, Olusegun Abatan, said that the creation of the ministry would turn the fortunes of pensioners around in the country.
Abatan called on Tinubu to do more for pensioners when he assumed office as president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done quite a lot for pensioners. He really helped them and so we are appealing to Tinubu to please give the matter of pensioners serious attention.
“We want a separate ministry that will be solely addressing matters that have to do with pensioners under the administration of Tinubu,” he said.
Abatan alleged that governors of South-West states were owing pensioners in the zone huge sums as gratuities and pensions.
He urged all the governors in the zone to implement the consequential adjustment and the 35 per cent increment in pensions without further delay.
Abatan particularly cited Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states where he claimed that the gratuities of pensioners were paid last in 2012.
“They are owing arrears of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, including gratuities and entitlements to the next of kin of some deceased pensioners.
“We want to appeal to our governors to step up their interests in the affairs of pensioners,” he said.
We’ll Defend PDP’s Mandate Secured During The Election In Rivers -Wike
Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State will defend the mandate that was been given to all of its candidates in the 2023 general election.
The governor noted that soon the various election tribunals will commence sitting where the mandate will be challenged, but the PDP will stand in defence of its candidates to ensure that the mandate is not stolen.
Governor Wike gave the assurance when he spoke at a luncheon organised to celebrate the PDP candidates who won their election and have been presented with their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Those honoured with the luncheon at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday were the Governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, Deputy Governor-elect, Prof. Ngozi Odu and other elected Representatives of Rivers State to the National and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Governor Wike pointed to the fierce political battle that was experienced during the general election and that if not for God, the victory that PDP is celebrating today would have eluded it.
The Rivers State governor told those who have been elected to the National Assembly to support every cause that promotes national unity, while placing the interest of the State paramount at all times.
He explained the importance of working in tandem with the State on any cause, whether it is suiting to them or not, but because it is expedient in advancing the interest of the State.
Governor Wike pointed to some Rivers leaders who went to Abuja and betrayed the interest of the state. He said they have become the greatest losers and fallen out of relevance in the State.
The governor also urged the elected representatives to trend with caution and never use their elevated positions to undermine or antagonise existing leadership structure in their various local government areas.
He told them not to abandon those who have contributed sundry efforts to ensure that their emergence at the polls was successful.
Governor Wike scolded Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, the member representing Ahoada West State constituency, for working against the success of the PDP in the last general election, but failed.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said there is massive celebration across the State over the victory of the party in the last general election.
He noted as astute the leadership governor Wike provided in leading the party in a fierce electoral battle that has produced youngest governor-elect in Nigeria, Sir Siminalayi Fubara.
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