Presidency tackles ex-UK official over negative comment on Buhari’s anti-graft war

Posted by News Express | 21 November 2018 | 1,229 times

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• Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity Garba Shehu

The Presidency has condemned the comment by former United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for International Development Ms Priti Patel attacking President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption.

It described Ms Patel’s comment as wicked proposition lacking in substance and devoid of merit in empirical evidence established by facts.

Patel had in a published statement, while using Transparency International (TI) report, called on investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.

But, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu said her claim that despite the President’s public anti-corruption platform, Nigeria has not seen any reduction in corruption “is a false fabrication that cannot be supported by the facts on the ground”.

Garba, in a statement yesterday, said: “By the time President Buhari was sworn in and took office, the only amount in the anti-corruption recovery account over 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was only N2 billion.

“This account has succeeded in netting over N400 billion as of today, translating to 1,360 per cent increase. This cannot amount to nothing in terms of progress.

“When it comes to policy decisions, this government has put in place instruments that have extraordinarily and unprecedentedly reduced corruption and corrupt practices.”

The statement said the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has led to greater visibility and control of government funds by way of consolidating government’s resources in an account as against the past, where such accounts are scattered.

The statement added: “The Bank Verification Number (BVN) scheme has equally helped the government to prevent money laundering, financing terrorism and illicit cash transfers.

“This administration has introduced the IPPS, which implementation has led to an extraordinary reduction of ghost workers, saving the treasury billions of Naira every month. The Whistle Blower mechanism put in place has yielded enormously to the treasury and reduced corruption.

“In addition to several and urgent legislations targeted at the reduction of corruption, the administration has equally signed a number of highly rewarding Mutual Legal Assistance with a number of countries that have translated to tremendous recoveries.”

Garba added that the issue raised by Ms Patel about the lack of security of investment was equally false and untenable.

Excerpted from The Nation report

Source: News Express

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