The fight against corruption will be intensified under President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term, Information, Culture & Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed has assured the international community.
Mohammed, who gave the assurance in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington said the President would not compromise his anti-corruption programmes and policies.
The minister is in Washington to engage international media and think tank, promote and reiterate the successes of the President Buhari’s administration.
In the interview anchored in English by Aliyu Mustapha of the VOA Hausa service, the minister said the anti-corruption fight would be frontal in the agenda of the government “because corruption is one of the major causes of poverty and underdevelopment in the country.”
He recalled a saying by President Buhari that ‘if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us’ and reiterated the government’s commitment to the fight.
Mohammed said: “The President is committed to the fight against corruption and the administration will continue with it.
“For example, the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has instituted accountability in government‘s earnings and spendings and the whistle blower policy has led to the recovery of billions of naira.
“It takes more than four years to clean a country endemic in corruption. However, it is on record that this administration has driven corruption under the carpet in four years.
“In the next four years, therefore, the government will consolidate on the achievements recorded particularly in the fight against corruption.”
On insecurity, the minister said the administration would apply multi-dimensional approach besides the deployment of forces.
He said the government was not unaware of other remote causes of the crises in the affected areas, including economic and social reasons, non-inclusiveness, lack of infrastructure and job opportunities.
Mohammed noted that the administration had performed well in addressing insecurity and the country is safer than it was in 2015.
He said the government had successfully secured the entire territory of the country from the Boko Haram while the farmers/herdsmen clash in Benue had been curtailed.
The minister said the fight against banditry, killings and banditry in Zamfara and Kaduna has “been put under control” in the last two weeks because of the synergy among the security forces.
He assured that the government will continue to strengthen partnership on the regional and international levels in addressing the challenges.
The minister also said the administration has made progress in economic recovery with deliberate programmers of diversifying the economy through agriculture and other sectors, as well as developing infrastructure.
On Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential election, the minister said President Buhari’s victory was well deserved and represented “the triumph of the ordinary Nigerians over the elite.”
He said having delivered on his electoral promises, the people voted for Buhari and he won the elections fairly and squarely, with about four million votes.
Mohammed said with the wide margin of winning, the government did not envisage “any attempt to delegitimise the will of the people”.
Former vice president and Buhari’s main challenger at the poll, Atiku Abubakar and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have approached the tribunal to upturn the President’s victory.