PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday admitted that the anti-corruption war being waged by his administration was not an easy task.
He however expressed the possibility of prosecuting the war to a successful end even if many feathers would have to be ruffled.
Buhari said this in his keynote address he delivered at the Commonwealth event tagged “Tackling corruption together: A conference for civil society, business and government leaders” held at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.
Electronic copies of the speech were made available to journalists by the Presidency.
Buhari said his desire to prosecute the anti-corruption war successfully was evident in the manner he had so far allowed anti-graft agencies to operate without interference unlike what was obtainable in the past.
He said, “Tackling the menace of corruption is not an easy task, but it is possible even if many feathers have to be ruffled.
“Our Government’s dogged commitment to tackling corruption is also evident in the freedom and support granted to national anti-corruption agencies to enable them to carry out their respective mandates without interference or hindrance from any quarter including the government.
“Today, our frontline anti-corruption agencies, namely, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal have become revitalised and more proactive in the pursuit of perpetrators of corrupt practices, irrespective of their social status and political persuasion. This is a radical departure from the past.
“We have implemented the Treasury Single Account whereby all Federal government revenue goes into one account. This measure would make it impossible for public officers to divert public funds to private accounts as was the practice before.
“Through the effective application of TSA and the Bank Verification Number, we have been able to remove 23,000 ghost workers from our pay roll, thereby saving billions that would have been stolen.
“We are also reviewing our anti-corruption laws and have developed a national anti-corruption strategy document that will guide our policies in the next three years, and possibly beyond.”
Describing corruption as a hydra-headed monster and a cankerworm that undermines the fabric of all societies, Buhari said the menace does not differentiate between developed and developing countries.
He said corruption constituted a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, as well as development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness.