The Federal Government says the global endorsement of its anti-corruption fight is an incentive to continue apace with the battle that must be won for the nation to achieve sustainable growth and development.
“The Federal Government is delighted that the anti-corruption war being led by President Muhammadu Buhari has been acknowledged and applauded on a global stage,” Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said.
“It is particularly gratifying that in that speech, Mr. Kerry made the link between corruption and terrorism. We agree that corruption is indeed a radicalizer because it destroys faith in legitimate authority. Let me remind you, gentlemen, that radicalization is a key causative factor of terrorism,” Alhaji Mohammed said during a meeting with News and Political Editors in Lagos on Sunday, referring to the acknowledgement of President Buhari’s efforts by the US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Mohammed said corruption was responsible for the endemic poverty in the country today, noting that whereas Nigeria’s national budget has increased from just over N900 billion in 1999 to over N6 trillion in 2016, poverty has also increased almost by the same proportion. “The reason is not far fetched,” he said. “Appropriated funds have mostly ended up in the pockets of a few looters.”
“When the money meant to construct roads are looted, the end result is that the roads are not built and the people suffer and even die in avoidable road accidents. When the money meant to provide electricity is looted, we all are perpetually sentenced to darkness. When the money meant for healthcare is pocketed by a few, we are unable to reduce maternal and infant mortality. These are the costs of corruption,” Lai Mohammed said.