The ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to revive the nation’s economy will not yield positive results unless the fight against corruption is also intensified, says Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
Mohammed was speaking at the 2016 Annual Lecture of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the government is tackling both issues of economic resuscitation and fight against corruption simultaneously.
“That’s why the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture launched a Sensitization Campaign Against Corruption (Change Begins With Me) on 18th January 2016…with a view to alerting Nigerians to the evils of corruption and carrying them along in the efforts by the government to tackle the menace,” he added.
Mohammed said that the theme for the lecture: “Fighting Corruption and Growing a Sustainable Nigerian Economy”, was quite appropriate.
“It is also noteworthy that the topic for this 2016 lecture incorporates two of the three cardinal programmes of this Administration, which are the fight against corruption and the revamping of the economy to create jobs and provide wealth. The third priority, of course, is the fight against insecurity,” he said.
The Minister said that corruption stifles economic growth in many ways by discouraging foreign investment, reducing tax revenue and preventing infrastructural development.
“In other words, in countries where you have a high level of corruption, there is reduced economic growth and, of course, higher poverty level,” he stressed.
He reiterated that the federal government will not relent in its efforts to tackle the menace of corruption to a standstill; since it has been determined that corruption is the biggest threat to the economic and political development of any country.
He said: “The Buhari Administration, since its inauguration, has left no one in doubt regarding its commitment to ridding Nigeria of corruption, as captured poignantly in President Buhari’s statement that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
”We are very much aware that the fight against corruption will not be easy.
“Fighting entrenched corruption can sometimes be a very lonely road to travel in our part of the world, where a true community of genuine corruption fighters are assailed from every side by unwary recruits of the looters among us, in our communities, places of work and worship.”
We also know that corruption is fighting back, fastly (sic) and furiously. But with uncommon commitment and determination, we will win the war against corruption,” Mohammed said.