The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said senators are the most genuine corruption fighters in Nigeria.
He made the remarks on Tuesday night during the inauguration of the Nigerian chapter of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) in Abuja.
According to a statement from his media office, Lawan said the National Assembly in 1999 created the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), noting that there was no better way to fight corruption.
He said, “We created the National Financial Intelligence Unit out of the EFCC. What more can one say? Is there anyone better at fighting corruption than we are? So, we are genuinely fighting corruption and we go all the way.”
Meanwhile, he said the launch of GOPAC reinforced the government’s anti-corruption campaign and the importance of transparency and accountability to good governance.
He maintained that corruption leads to waste, and the retardation of growth, as the illegal diversion of resources prevents development and takes away opportunities for people-oriented projects.
“Realising the negative impact of corruption, the present administration made the fight against corruption one of its cardinal programmes.
“The government has subsequently been forthcoming in its anti-corruption drives, even though a lot more still has to be done, because of its systemic nature.
“Anti-corruption efforts should however permeate the dimensions of our governance sectors, which is why it is a welcome development to have a global outlook of parliamentarians focusing on anti-corruption,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lawan disclosed that the Senate would present the 9th Senate Legislative Anti-Corruption Strategy (LACS 2021) where they would outline stages to successes in the anti-corruption fight.
In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on anti-corruption, Senator Suleiman Audu Kwari, said GOPAC was formed essentially to ensure the full implementation of the United Nations Convention on corruption, which Nigeria was a signatory.
Kwari, who is also the chairman of the Nigerian chapter of GOPAC, said corruption was a global problem and must be fought within that context.
“We have developed strategies to combat corruption and set the requisite platforms to implement the various legislative reforms and processes that we consider essential,” he said.
Meanwhile, this comes after the Senate refused to disclose the details of its annual budget despite pressures from the media, civil society groups, and Nigerians at large.
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