The Presidency has vowed that the war against perfidy and corruption will continue notwithstanding resistance and fight back from the opposition.“Let me say one thing. Those whose illicit ways of accumulating money have been stopped will criticise this government but all that will not derail the unfaltering commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari to the war against corruption,” presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said in a statement yesterday.
Shehu maintained that the President is aware that this was one of the main reasons why Nigerians in their millions put their trust in him; the main reason they voted him into power in 2015.
“To keep that trust of ordinary Nigerians who voted him into the office, he has vowed to give corruption a good fight. He will not let them down,” he assured.The presidential aide however, admitted that so far, the battle to uproot corruption from Nigeria has not been easy: “Corruption has been fighting back vehemently, finding accomplices in various forms and guises. Nevertheless, the Buhari administration will not relent.”
The presidential aide vowed that nothing would return our country to those sad, old days of wanton thievery that have plunged us into the economic mess from which Nigeria is currently recovering. The war against corruption in Nigeria is one of those clashes between good and evil, where good is determined to triumph.
He commended Nigerians for embracing the whistleblower policy by “taking extraordinary risks exposing corruption.”He dismissed rumours that members of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) were being spared, saying that all are equal before the law.
Highlighting the various measures introduced to promote transparency by the present administration, Garba disclosed that upon directives by the President, the National Hajj Commission carried out an audit of accommodation agents in both Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia and as result more than $16.7 million is being saved.
“Each Hajj pilgrim is being saved between 600 to 1,000 Saudi Riyals, which is about N60, 000-N100, 000 from accommodation, money that had lined the pockets of agents in the past. This year, houses are being rented directly from owners.”
On the ongoing rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the relocation of flight services to Kaduna for the six-week period of the closure, Shehu said the government and people of Kaduna should think hard to devise ways by which the social and economic benefits brought to Kaduna in this period did not depart the city with the reopening of the Airport in Abuja.
Referring to the “massive cash releases for capital projects in excess of a record one trillion Naira under the 2016 budget,” Garba credited the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola with the record of being the first ever minister to ride on all the federal roads across the nation.
He said in addition to the roads, three of the major projects very dear to the president, which he is determined to execute are the Mambila Power Project, the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway modernisation projects and the new presidential initiative on fertilizer, which he said is already making an impact by reducing the price of fertiliser by about fifty per cent.