By Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria has so far saved more than $550 million from the removal of names of ghost workers from the pay system, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
He vowed that more ghost workers would be removed from the government payroll.
The president revealed this in a special write-up entitled; “Corruption threats Nigeria and its election’’ which he released in Abuja on Sunday.
President Buhari also expressed optimism that more money could be recovered through the whistle-blower policy as over 370 million dollars had been returned since its launch in 2016.
He said: “More ghost workers must be removed from government payroll (almost $550 million has been saved from identifying phantom employees).
“More can be recovered through our whistle-blower policy ($370 million has been returned since its launch in 2016).
“More is still to come. But, together, we shall prevail over corruption.”
He, therefore, enjoined Nigerians, particularly the electorate to make a wise choice in the forthcoming presidential election by way of re-electing the governing All Progressives Congress to sustain and improve on the ongoing crusade on corruption.
He reassured that due process would continue to be followed in the fight against corruption even though his administration had changed the way of tackling corruption in the country.
The president added: “A Yoruba proverb states that only the patient one can milk a lion. Likewise, victory over corruption is difficult, but not impossible. We must not flounder in our resolve. I know many Nigerians would like to see faster action. So do I.
“But so too must we follow due process and exercise restraint, ensuring allegation never takes the place of evidence. For that is not the Nigeria we should wish to build.
“There is no doubt that this Administration has changed the way we tackle corruption.
“The choice before voters is this: Do we continue forward on this testing path against corruption? Or do revert to the past, resigned to the falsehood that it is just the-way-things-are-done? Or that it is just too difficult – too pervasive – to fix? I know which one I would choose. It is why I am asking Nigerians for another four years to serve them.’’
He also vowed that as Nigerian leader he would continue to judiciously exercise the trust vested in him to combat the problems of corruption, insecurity and an inequitable economy.
The president, however, stated that the fight against corruption would continue to attract greater attention so as to ensure the success of all other socio-economic programmes of the government.
“All are important. But amongst them, one stands above the others as both a cause and aggravator of the rest. It is, of course, corruption.
“A policy programme that does not have fighting corruption at its core is destined to fail.
“The battle against graft must be the base on which we secure the country, build our economy, provide decent infrastructure and educate the next generation,’’ he said. (NAN)