By Levinus Nwabughiogu
NEW YORK—President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his resolve to completely stamp out corruption, stressing that it was the cardinal objective of his government.
He also stated that corruption stifled development and undermined the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
Presenting Nigeria’s statement at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71) in New York, on the theme, “Sustainable Development Goals: a Universal Push to Transform the World,” the President restated that fighting corruption remained a cardinal pillar of the current administration.
He also expressed delight that the anti-corruption campaign had started yielding positive dividends, including significant recovery of stolen assets.
“The recovered funds are being channeled towards the development of critical infrastructure and the implementation of social inclusion programmes for our people,” President Buhari said.
He added that the capacity of government agencies was being strengthened to institutionalize reforms that would ensure transparency and good governance.
The president also said that Nigeria would not get tired of calling for speedy and unconditional recovery of illicit assets stashed abroad.
He said: “Nigeria supports the development of an international legal framework to enforce anti-corruption measures and strengthen existing international institutions to effectively deal with corrupt practices.”
While acknowledging that Nigeria was not spared the adverse effects of the current global economic downturn, the President noted that his administration remained undeterred and had embarked on comprehensive diversification reforms by shifting emphasis to non-oil sectors.
According to him, emphasis is now on mining, agriculture, industrialization, infrastructure development and the creation of the enabling environment for Foreign Direct Investment.
“Our strategic objective is to stimulate the economy, restore growth and accelerate recovery. In doing this, we are taking measures to reduce the cost of governance and increase expenditure on infrastructure and ensure environmental best practices,” he said.
On Climate Change, President Buhari said Nigeria was proud to have been