President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that all government financial transactions will be done in the open and available soon for Nigerians.
Garba Shehu, senior spokesman to the President, in a statement issued on Tuesday, disclosed that Buhari said this at the passing-out parade of detective inspector course five of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Kaduna.
The president said his resolve is to ensure that no financial transactions is done in secret, and that they are made available to Nigerians for scrutiny.
Buhari said: “My resolve is to ensure that the reforms are deepened such that there will be no hiding place for corrupt persons and proceeds of corruption. My aim is to ensure that no government financial transaction is done in secret and all are subjected to public scrutiny.
“The objective of this administration is to institute a level of transparency in governance through mainly information technology platforms. Just as advanced democracies and some developing countries, I am determined that within a short period, citizens would be able to follow core government operations online,” President Buhari said.
“Our government has reached an advanced stage in Fiscal Transparency. The Appropriation Bill is placed online within hours of its presentation in the National Assembly. The Budget Office of the Federation has been engaging interest groups in the budget cycle. A pilot scheme of 10 MDAs has been test running online display of their budgets and expenditure movements.”
Buhari added that his administration is committed to online disclosure of beneficial owners of companies. He, however, said the owners are not cooperative.
“I am aware that the portals are ready but owners of companies are unwilling to comply with all disclosure requirements. May I use this opportunity to urge all well-meaning Nigerians to fully comply,” he said.
“We have been working within the frameworks of National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership (OGP), National Anti-Corruption Strategy which is an adaptation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Global Forum for Asset Recovery (GFAR). Several of the reforms have been effective for several years with great impact on revenue and expenditure management. These include; the Government Integrated, Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Single Treasury Account, and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
“Executive Orders, such as Preservation of Suspicious Assets Connected with Corruption (Executive Order 6), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Act 2018; and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2018 have been operating for a few years and effectively limiting system opportunities for corrupt practices.”
According to Buhari, the administration’s war against corruption has also attracted international endorsements.
Commending the efforts of the anti-graft agency, Buhari expressed conviction that Nigeria is winning its anti-corruption war.
He added that “the right policies have been put in place to fight corruption and the fight is becoming much more effective”.
“Our fight against corruption is being recognized by the international community as real and effective. The face of the country abroad is also changing as the international community is beginning to see Nigeria making substantial progress in the enthronement of transparency, accountability and good governance,” he said.
“I have listened attentively to the report in the speech presented by the Chairman of EFCC. The report is an attestation that the right policies have been put in place to fight corruption and the fight is becoming much more effective. I make bold to say that Nigeria is winning the war against corruption. I congratulate the EFCC on its good work and I urge that the current level of success be sustained and accelerated,” he said.
On his part, Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, said the commission “on its part is currently developing its Statement of Strategy for 2020 to 2025, in line with the five pillars of National Anti-Corruption Strategy. This was preceded by an earlier strategic plan which was successfully implemented.”