President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, sought stronger collaboration among the three tiers of government to fight corruption in the country, saying that his administration was determined to end the menace of corruption in all sectors.
Buhari stated this in his remarks at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption with the theme, “Together against corruption” and launch of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The event was organised by the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC), as part of activities to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the ICPC.
In his remarks, Buhari called on all Nigerians to join the government in fighting corruption, so as to return the country to its good values of honesty and integrity.
He said: “As military Head of State, I fought corruption headlong and held public officers who abused their office or misused public funds to the account. Furthermore, I introduced the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), one of whose cardinal objectives was the promotion of our cherished culture of ethical conduct, integrity, and hard work.
“I recognized in 1984 as I do even more now that corruption poses a clear danger to Nigeria, so, we cannot relent in efforts to eradicate it from our society. As I have often reminded Nigerians, ‘If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.’
“In my Inaugural Speech in 2015, I affirmed the determination of this administration to rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and serviceable.
“I charged public servants to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system and solicited the cooperation of the Legislative arm to maintain their brief of making laws and carrying out oversight functions.
“We must all join hands together to fight corruption and return to our traditional values of honesty and integrity. I hereby use the opportunity of this Summit to launch the National Ethics and Integrity Policy as a fresh roadmap to return Nigeria to these critical national values.”
The President, who underscored the significance of establishing the ICPC, also called for a reform of the country’s Judiciary, to boost the fight against corruption.
According to him, “This year marks two significant hallmarks in the history of our country. A few days from now, we will, by the grace of God, be celebrating Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary as an independent sovereign nation.
“This summit also commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC). The commission emerged as part of the measures that successive administrations in Nigeria have put in place over the years to fight corruption.
“In my inaugural speech in 2015, I called for the reform of the judicial system and for the Judiciary to act with dispatch in cases, especially cases on corruption, serious financial crimes, and abuse of office.
“I believe that it is when the three arms and the three levels of government work together that the government will be enabled to serve the country. We will also see the positive impact of our efforts reaching all and sundry across the country.
“Bearing this critical factor in mind, I am happy that the theme of this year’s Summit by ICPC is ‘Together Against Corruption’. I am aware that this theme derives from the theme of our 60th-anniversary celebration. Together as a nation, as a people, the three arms and three tiers of government working together, we can attack corruption and realize the vast potentials of our country.”
He advised public officers to imbibe the culture of honesty in all their dealings, in order to project the country in good light, adding that there will always be a reward for honesty and hard work.
He said, “The National Ethics and Integrity Policy projects government’s aspiration for the rediscovery of our cherished traditional ethical values of honesty, integrity, hard work, truth and justice, unity, faith, and consideration for one another irrespective of status or background.
“Corruption and corruptive tendencies are abhorrent to these core ethical values.
“I am particularly pleased by the recognition and participation of young Nigerians and non-state actors, especially the media and civil society at this event because nobody must be left behind and all hands must be on deck in the fight against corruption.
“I wish to reiterate the role of preventive measures and public education and enlightenment against corruption. This government through the Open Treasury initiative, TSA, GIFMIS, BVN, and many more is implementing different corruption prevention measures to track and retain government revenue for the use of the people.
“As I mentioned earlier, the importance of the public service to our anti-corruption effort cannot be over-emphasised. I am, therefore, extremely delighted to recognize and present the 2020 Public Service Integrity Awards to two honest public servants who have demonstrated the will to look away from graft and corruption.”
Also speaking, the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Tanko said the Judiciary was ever ready to contribute its own quota in the fight against corruption.
“The Judiciary is ever poised to deploy every relevant legal tool at its disposal to whittle down the strength of corruption in our mindset. No nation can survive with corruption at the centre of her conscience.”
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to Chikezie Favour, winner of the Junior Secondary School essay competition; and Matilda Daniels, winner of the Senior Secondary School essay competition.
A Chief Superintendent of Police, Francis Erhabor of the Nigeria Police and Hamza Adamu Buwai of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, were both recognized and acknowledged as worthy Nigerian public servants for turning down bribes worth millions of Naira.
RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics
The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.
By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun
FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.
Over 20 Countries Arrive Abuja For 2022 INAC
The 2022 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), themed “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, was, yesterday, declared open in Abuja, by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
The 15th edition of the Expo holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotels & Towers has in attendance no fewer than 25 countries and eight states in Nigeria.
Some of the countries already on ground include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea and Tanzania.
States in Nigeria that have arrived Abuja for the annual international event are Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, FTC, Kaduna and Katsina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Runsewe said the aim of the expo is to better project Nigerian crafts to various countries of the world given that our stories are better told by us. It is also to promote cultural exchange programmes and improve inter-country collaborations in music, arts, drama, etc.
The expo, as usual, is expected to amongst other items, feature skill acquisition trainings for young people, free medical examination and care, display of countries art documentaries, exhibitions of countries’ arts, crafts and culture.
Runsewe said: “This is another opportunity we have to showcase Nigerian crafts to the world and to let the world know that Nigeria is a safe place to be. We want Nigerians to know that the creative industry is capable of tackling Nigerian insecurity problems by engaging the youths in our crafts for revenue generation.”
The 2022 expo holds from August 18 to 20, 2022.
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