President Goodluck Jonathan this morning stated that his government is fighting corruption using global best practices which involves removing the opportunities for corruption in the first place.
Writing on his verified facebook page this morning, President Jonathan said:
Global best practices over the past decades have proven that corruption is best tackled when you eliminate the opportunities for graft.
You do this, through building and strengthening accountability institutions constitutionally empowered to do this. We re-organized the EFCC and ICPC and appointed leaders of credibility to lead them. We also ensured that no one interfered with their work and we gave them the tools they needed to do their work.
We are making progress, but more work still needs to be done.
The agricultural sector had become notorious for the fraud in the fertilizer regime of that sector. Over the years, this system had been used to siphon billions of Naira that was meant to procure vitally needed fertilizer to ensure that Nigeria attains National Food Security.
When this administration came into being, we instituted reforms and introduced an e-wallet system by which farmers were registered and their mobile phones were used to distribute fertilizers and seeds directly from source to end user thereby cutting out the middle man.
The result has been that our fertilizer bill has dramatically reduced and the quality of the product has gone up as middle men no longer have access to adulterate the product.
Our food import bill has thus reduced from 1.1 Trillion Naira in 2009 to 634 billion Naira and still reducing today.
Also, through the technology of the Intergrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Federal Government has weeded out over 50,000 ghost workers from the Federal Civil Service saving 160 billion Naira annually through the process.
As I speak, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is currently prosecuting offenders who are suspected of perpetrating this fraud.
Finally, when I signed the Freedom of Information Law, FOI, it had the effect of lifting the veil on government. Nigerians now know how much I spend as well as how much is spent by other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and can ask questions which foster transparency.
Efforts are ongoing to persuade some states who have resisted the domestication of this law to bow to reason and accept this law in practice and in theory.
It is for these reasons and others that Nigeria, under my watch, continues to make steady progress in the anti-corruption war and with your renewed mandate, we will never relent.