ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, maintains that President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to fighting corruption. Fagbemi emphasizes that Tinubu’s administration is determined to eradicate corruption at all levels in the country.
Fagbemi made these remarks during an event in Abuja to commemorate the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day 2023. He also states that the Federal Government of Nigeria is ready to fully implement the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for the period 2022 to 2026.
This year’s Anti-Corruption Day celebration marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC, with the theme “UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption.”
Fagbemi reveals that the NACS implementation framework focuses on five pillars that drive both the public and private sectors. These pillars include the Prevention of Corruption, Public Engagement, Campaign for Ethical Re-orientation, Enforcement and Sanction, and Recovery and Management of Proceeds of Crime.
He further announces that the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be inaugurated, and the NACS 2022-2026 will be launched in the first quarter of 2024.
“After a successful election and transition, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is determined to strengthen the fight against corruption at all levels and ensure the prudent utilization of resources for sustainable economic growth and development,” Fagbemi adds.
Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), acknowledges the efforts made in the fight against corruption since Nigeria adopted the United Nations Convention Against Corruption 20 years ago. However, he highlights that Nigeria’s recent ranking of 154 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perception Index indicates that the country still has a long way to go.
Orji specifically mentions the challenges of corruption in Nigeria’s oil, gas, mining, and extractive industries. He points out issues such as oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal mining, and the theft of solid minerals, often facilitated by collusion between foreigners and Nigerian citizens. He highlights the significant losses Nigeria has suffered due to oil theft and the pilfering of petroleum products.
Mrs. Jane Onwumere, the Head of the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms (TUGAR), explains that the 2023 theme focuses on assessing the 20-year implementation of the Convention and recognizing the UNCAC’s role in uniting the world against corruption. The event provides an opportunity to evaluate achievements, address challenges, and determine further actions needed to combat corruption locally and internationally.
Overall, the Nigerian government, under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership, is committed to fighting corruption and implementing effective strategies to eradicate it. Efforts are underway to strengthen anti-corruption measures, engage the public, and recover proceeds of crime. However, challenges persist, particularly in the oil, gas, and mining sectors, where corruption continues to hinder progress.