President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that corruption is still having an upper hand in the Nigerian economy and causing havoc.
The president on Tuesday, attributed the untold hardship millions of Nigerians are facing to the country’s inability to eradicate corruption.
Buhari added that corruption at all levels was the biggest problem impeding Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
To rid the corruption of corruption was one of the mantra on which the president won the 2015 presidential election but it is averred that corruption has become more deeprooted.
Buhari made the remarks at the 49th Annual Accountant Conference organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The theme of the conference was “Building Nigeria for Sustainable Growth and Development.’’
His words; “I urge you now to always see corruption in its true colour as a gross violation of human right. Corruption is the major reason why millions of our people are in hardship, sick and helpless.
“Corruption and impunity becomes widespread when accountability is disregarded.
“Disrespect for accountability also strives when people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them.
“Corruption is the major reason why many children cannot go to school, why we have few equipments and doctors in our hospitals.
“Corruption diverts public resources thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary death in the country.
“Therefore, if we do not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, we will not get the result that we need.’’
He affirmed that it prevents good governance and encourage misappropriation of public funds, stiffens innovation, infrastructure development and investments.
The president who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said: “Our fight against corruption is in reality a struggle for nation building and the future”.
Buhari reiterated that the government was committed toward achieving structural economic change and a more diversified and inclusive economy.
He noted that it was for this reason that he had signed many executive orders aimed at improving the business conditions in the country.
“We signed the Executive Order 7 of 2019 on Road Infrastructure Development and Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Scheme.
“This Executive Order aims to accelerate road infrastructure development for a balanced economic growth in Nigeria by granting approvals to private sector entities to construct and rehabilitate eligible roads across the country.
“This is in exchange for tax credits which will be applied against their company income tax.
“The motivation for the scheme comes from the desire to take advantage of private sector funding to road development in our country,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu called on Nigerians to join the fight against corruption.
He said the fight against corruption could not be won if it was left alone to the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies.
The President of ICAN, Mr Nnamdi Okwuadigbo, in his remark, pledged the institute’s commitment to facilitating economic growth and development in the country.
“Now is the time to redeem our image in the committee of nations. We cannot afford to fail as the largest economy in Africa.
“As chartered accountants we are at a vantage position to determine the effective use of public funds and we charge you to be front runners in the fight against corruption,” he said.