Sunday, 1 July 2012

I’m not soft on fight against corruption – Jonathan

The Presidency,
Sunday, dismissed reports
that his administration was
soft on the fight against
corruption, saying
“Nigerians should be wary
of those who seek to heat
up the polity by politicizing
the issue of corruption in the
pursuit of their selfish
personal and sectional
agenda.”
In a statement in Abuja,
Special Adviser to the
President on Media and
Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati,
said in his determination to
up the ante in the fight,
institutional strengthening
of various anti corruption
agencies had been
undertaken by the
presidency while efforts
were being made to ensure
that those who run foul of
the law are made to face the
consequences.
The statement:“The
Presidency has noted with
concern, recent reports,
comments and agitations
aimed at creating the totally
false impression that the
Jonathan administration is
not doing enough to curb
corruption in Nigeria.
“President Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan clearly enunciated
his administration’s zero
tolerance for corruption on
his assumption of office and
has since worked to
strengthen the nation’s anti-
corruption agencies for
greater efficiency and
effectiveness.
“Certainly, nothing has been
done or left undone under
the President’s watch to
justify the labelling of his
administration as ‘soft on
corruption.’
“He has appointed a tried
and tested corruption
investigator to head the EFCC.
He declined to swear in a
nominee for the
chairmanship of the ICPC
when questions were raised
by the public about the
propriety of his nomination
and clearance by the Senate;
and recently nominated a
more acceptable
replacement.
“Much of the politically-
motivated agitations alleging
tardiness in the war against
corruption revolve around
the administration’s handling
of the reports of probes that
have been undertaken into
the management of fuel
subsidies in the country.
“President Jonathan wishes
to reaffirm, once again, that
there will be no sacred cows
in the matter and that any
organisation or individual
found guilty of fraud or
corruption will ultimately
face the full weight of
sanctions prescribed by the
extant laws of the country.
House subsidy report
referred to EFCC
“The report of the House of
Representatives Ad-Hoc
Committee on Fuel Subsidies
has already been referred by
the President to the EFCC
through the Minister of
Justice and Attorney-General
of the Federation.
“In compliance with the
President’s clear and
unequivocal directives, the
EFCC is currently undertaking
a thorough and painstaking
investigation of all
indictments made by the
committee with a view to
establishing water-tight
cases that will be taken
before courts of competent
jurisdiction as quickly as
possible.
“The report of the committee
headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-
Imoukhuede which was set
up by the Federal
Government to verify fuel
subsidy payments has also
been received and is being
expeditiously reviewed.
Appropriate action will
follow.
“President Jonathan urges
Nigerians to be patient and
assured that the guilty will
definitely not go unpunished
as justice will certainly be
done in the matter.
“It is also noteworthy that to
strengthen ongoing reforms
and transformation of
Nigeria’s Petroleum sector,
and in furtherance of efforts
to achieve greater
transparency and
accountability in
government, President
Jonathan recently approved
the re-composition of the
executive management team
of the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation,
NNPC.”
On PIB
“Furthermore, in
continuation of efforts by
his administration to sanitise
Nigeria’s entire petroleum
sector, entrench probity,
transparency and
accountability, and rid the
sector of fraud and
corruption to ensure that
ordinary Nigerians enjoy
more benefits from this God-
given natural resource,
President Jonathan has
directed that the report of
the technical committee
which reviewed the
Petroleum Industry Bill be
speedily evaluated and
appraised by relevant
government ministries and
presented to the Federal
Executive Council for
approval before being
returned to the National
Assembly for speedy
promulgation.
“President Jonathan remains
fully committed to the
diligent and effective
implementation of his
administration’s agenda for
national transformation and
the eradication of official
corruption which is
evidently antithetical to the
attainment of the stated
goals of his administration.
“In the prosecution of the
war against corruption,
President Jonathan believes
that the interests of national
peace, stability, progress and
development override all
other considerations and are
therefore beyond any
compromise.
“The President continues to
uphold this belief in all his
private and official actions.”

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