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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has on Tuesday, October 18, while lecturing dignitaries, including President Muhammadu Buhari, on how to tackle corruption in the 21st century, ‎marshaled out an eight point plan of action, needed to achieve success in the ongoing anti-corruption crusade.
The development is coming at a time when President Buhari, has been accused of not fighting corruption holistically, as only those who are seen as perceived enemies, are always victims of the anti graft probe.
Saraki,‎ had in his opening remarks on the theme, “National Conference on the Role of the Legislature in the Fight Against Corruption”, jointly organized by National Assembly, and the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, in collaboration with the European Union, EU, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNODC, and the African Development Studies Centre, ADSC, in Abuja, called on the Executive, to have a rethink on the approach being used to fight corruption, as it has not in anyway abated corruption.
‎According to the Senate President, ensuring transparency in government processes and procurements, reduction in bureaucratic bottlenecks, education, and technology adaptation, must be factored into the ongoing fight against corruption, for it to succeed.
‎He said: “We must ask ourselves, what have other nations who recorded success in the battle against corruption around the world, done to achieve the result they have?
“What do we need to do differently, to achieve better and different result?
“The fight against corruption must remain driven by a well articulated and delivered strategy.
“One that is robust, multifaceted, and driven by leadership across all aspect of our political and social systems.
“It cannot be the fight of one man, but rather the vigilance of everyone of us, in our various sphere of influence.
“Let me share some of my personal experiences with you to shed light on some of the strategies that I have utilized in the past.
“In the 7th Assembly, I remember personally leading the charge to expose the corrupt fuel subsidy arrangement that was in place. Through a motion on the Senate floor, the Senate uncovered a mind-boggling corruption going on in the Federal Government subsidy management scheme.
“This led to the indictment of several individuals and companies, who were exploiting the weak institutional structures in the design of the scheme, to the detriment of millions of Nigerians, to enrich themselves.
“This motion alone saved the Nigerian government over 500 billion Naira, in the first year, and in my opinion would have saved a whole lot more afterwards, as a result.


“These are just several examples of arms of governments successfully operating within their jurisdictions and mandates, to further our collective cause as a nation, and bring an end to the pervasive corruption that exists in our society,” the Senate President said.
He further disclosed, that ‎one of the reasons government creates institutions, is to ensure that they act in such manner as best preserves the welfare and security of the people.
“I believe that institutional integrity and capacity holds the key to sustainable success against corruption.
“This is so crucial, as ordinary Nigerians must be convinced that the problem of curbing corruption, is being treated seriously by the government, and not in an opportunistic manner.
“This is especially so for our public accountability institutions. Therefore, if we must make significant inroad against corruption, we must strive to protect our accountability institutions from the virus of political interference, no matter how well meaning they may be.
“They must be enabled to operate in an atmosphere of political neutrality, efficiency, and fairness, as envisaged under the constitution.
“This in my view, means that while these institutions work in collaborative form, there must be minimal intrusion in the operation decisions, and working of our apex institutions like the EFCC, the ICPC, and the Police Force, that are tasked with ensuring accountability in our affairs,” Saraki‎ said.
Concluding, he noted that history has shown that it is not enough, “to simply round people up forcefully, and throw them in jail under the guise of a successful anti-corruption fight, and that, as a government and as a people, we must do more on the prevention and perception side of the anti-corruption war.
“Perception is key in this fight. The anti-corruption drive cannot be undertaken as a media glitz.
“This is why governments across all levels must work to strengthen the capacity of our agencies to make informed decisions, and be inclined towards good knowledge of the law, rigor, and transparency in all their doing.
“The more open and transparent the process, the less opportunity there will be for abuse of office,” Saraki noted.

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