By Sunday James
LEGISREPORTS NG – Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has declared total war on corruption in the country stressing that there is no more hiding place for corrupt individuals in Nigeria. Saraki spoke when the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, led other board members of the commission to brief the Senate President and other senators on the activities of the anti-graft body.
A statement by his Media Office,quoted Saraki to have said that the 8th Senate under his leadership is totally committed to the zero tolerance for corruption position of the Buhari administration and that he and his colleagues would do everything to make the job of the anti-graft agencies easy and successful.
The Senate President also said most of the present problems confronting the country were a direct fall-out of the monumental corruption in the system. He noted that even though the Senate was officially on recess, there are certain issues that cannot wait, especially issues concerning getting appropriate briefing on the fight against corruption and what needs to be done to intensify the anti-corruption war. He added that corruption in the land has almost reached a crisis point hence the need for better collaboration by all national institutions to reduce it to the barest minimum, if not totally eradicate it.
The statement said, “It is important for us to meet with you, to let you appreciate where we stand on the issue of corruption and to also listen to you for us to know some of the issues that are challenging to you because the ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct Bureau remain the most vital institutions in the fight that we are waging against corruption today.
“We want to make the anti-graft war a priority for the Senate because we believe that it has got to a stage where it is truly endangering the entire system and some of the symptoms that we are seeing in the areas where it is affecting our national development is becoming more and more clearer to all of us.
“The message we want you to take away today is that the 8th Senate is ready to work with you.
The 8th Senate is not going to provide any safe haven for anybody. The 8th Senate wants to work very closely with Mr. President on this very issue and I am sure with the political will, both on the part of the executive and the legislative and the agencies, we might not be able to eradicate it completely, but we can bring corruption to a level that as a country, we can be proud of. The party is over.
Everybody needs to know that we need to sing a new song because without it, we have all seen that we are getting into a crisis and we need to admit it,” Saraki said. Earlier, the ICPC boss, Nta, said tackling corruption requires that the substructures that support corruption in the system be addressed before going after the “symptoms of corruption.
” Nta said: “Public officers have been put through a lot of destabilization during the changes.
They have not had pensions paid and all these had accumulated to the point where they have to resort to self help.
“We discovered that if the civil service is working optimally and the shortcomings are addressed, the issue of corruption would be made unattractive”, the ICPC boss said.
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