President Muhammadu Buhari says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will soon publish the names of officials of the last administration who stole public funds and the amount surrendered to the coffers of the Federal Government.
The President told guests at the 15th session of the Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation Lecture in Abuja on Friday that the CBN had not published the list to avoid jeopardising investigations and further recoveries.
Addressing the gathering on the administration’s fight against corruption, President Buhari gave more revelations on the nation’s stolen funds which had garnered various speculations in the last few months.
According to the President, the war against corruption is gathering momentum.
“As I stated recently, a good number of people who abused their positions are voluntarily returning the illicit funds. I have heard it said that we should disclose the names of the people, and the amount returned.
“Yes, in due course, the Central Bank of Nigeria will make information available to the public on the surrendered funds, but I must remark that it is yet early days, and any disclosure now may jeopardize the possibility of bigger recoveries.
“But we owe Nigerians adequate information, and it shall come in due course. It is part of the collective effort to change our land from the bastion of corruption it currently is, to a place of probity and transparency,” President Buhari explained.
“No Friend, No Foe
He also told the gathering that Nigeria’s rating on the global corruption index had risen rather than dropped.
“Quite frankly, the anti-corruption war is not strictly about me as a person, it is about building a country where our children, and the forthcoming generations, can live in peace and prosperity. When you see dilapidated infrastructure round the country, it is often the consequence of corruption.
“Poor healthcare, collapsed education, lack of public utilities, decayed social services, are all products of corruption, as those entrusted with public resources put them in their private pockets. That must stop, if we want a new Nigeria. And that was why I said at another forum that people need not fear me, but they must fear the consequences of their actions.
“Corrupt acts will always be punished, and there will be no friend, no foe. We will strive to do what is fair and just at all times, but people who refuse to embrace probity should have every cause to fear,” the President said, reiterating his commitment to ‘killing corruption’, a promise he made during campaigns.
Another speaker, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Reverend Father Mathew Kukah, also reverberate the President’s views.