By Tukur Muntari
Shaarik Zafar, U.S. Special Representative to Muslim communities, has expressed optimism that the current fight against corruption in Nigeria would succeed.
He made the remark while addressing a news conference in Kano on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zafar was in Kano to offer opening remarks at an inaugural workshop on anti-corruption for religious leaders.
The workshop was organised by Zafar’s office under the U.S. Department of State.
He said if corruption could effectively be tackled, Nigeria would witness fast socio-economic growth and development.
He added that “I am optimistic that if corruption is tackled, a lot of good things will follow; the trend is positive for Nigeria, based on the commitment.”
According to him, the U.S. government is committed toward assisting Nigeria in the current effort to fight corruption.
He emphasised that “Nigeria’s success is America’s success, hence our decision to work with government, civil society organisations and religious groups to prevent corruption.”
The special representative said that the workshop would address how communities could work together to combat corruption, promote accountability and encourage transparency.
He said “as I said, I have a global mandate. So, I will encourage a continued focus by religious leaders on the critical challenge of combating corruption.
“This is not only because of their moral voice but because religious leaders speak a common language with their communities.
“They also have incomparable access, unique network and level of respect that can help in this common battle against corruption and to promote accountability.”
The envoy said that during his stay in Nigeria, he would pay a courtesy visit to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II.
While in Abuja, the envoy said, he would meet with religious and community leaders in order to hear from them their current challenges and opportunities.