Corruption biggest threat to security in Nigeria –Minister


Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, (middle) during the courtesy visit to the ICPC Chairman on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Minister of Interior, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, says corruption and corrupt practices fuel insecurity in the country, and there is need for all hands to be on deck to fight the menace.

The minister said this, when he paid a courtesy visit to Dr Musa Aliyu, SAN,  the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday in Abuja.

Tunji-Ojo who stressed the need to tackle corruption, which he said had eaten deep into the fabric of the nation, added that corruption was one of the biggest threats to security in the country.

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The minister said that the purpose of his visit was to strike a synergy between his ministry and the ICPC.

He expressed the belief that collaborating with anti- corruption agencies could help to tighten the belt and block loopholes even within the administrative processes.

“We know the Ministry of Interior is responsible for the enhancement of internal security and, of course, corruption is one of the biggest threats to security in Nigeria.

“So, we don’t need to move too far before we get to the point of intersection, where our interests remain.

“And, we believe that in leveraging and collaborating with ICPC, we might just be saving our country from a lot of effort that is needed in righting the wrongs.

“We believe that all over the world the language is pro-activeness, the language is prevention, the language is no more detection or correction,” he said.

According to him, the world is moving and is moving so fast.

He noted that as product of the 20th and 21st century, there was the need to learn the language of the 22nd century.

“And, the language of the next generation, which we must learn as a country is to build strong institutions.

“One believes that the strategic relationship between these two agencies can of course block a lot of reports, can prevent and, of course, can deter even the imagination of ill doings.

“If we do not do that, we will continue to run after the criminals. And, once we are running after the criminals, it becomes a game of fun to the criminals,” he said.

According to him, all over the world the criminals will be running after the state to meet up with the state, not the state running after the criminal. It means we have to up our pace.

“And we believe that the management of ICPC is well poised towards ensuring that a new Nigeria, not just built on hope, but on renewed hope comes to life.

“I realized that a lot of errors that people or mistakes that people make in government are actually very avoidable. That’s the truth.

“And, I believe that the lack of knowledge transfer has created a lot of lacuna and has reduced the level of performance of government officials.

“So, we are looking at the area of capacity building, strongly collaborate with you in areas of capacity building.

“As the saying goes, you will always be a slave to what you don’t know. So, we need to collaborate, we need to build capacity or run capacity,” he said.

He stressed the need on collaboration with the agency, which according to him, would to tighten the belt and block loopholes even within our administrative processes.

“How do I mean by that? I’ll tell you, I sincerely believe that if we have a functional unit of ICPC officers saddled with certain responsibility of going through certain decisions before they are activated, we might save ourselves a lot of stress in detection.

“ I sincerely believe, and I say this with all utter insincerity, that I think the Ministry of Interior will be where we can use to test this particular idea,” he said.

The ICPC chairman in his remarks said that the commission had been trying as much as possible to discharge its mandate within the confines of the law.

“This to ensure that we have Nigeria, which is less corrupt and a country whereby people have confidence within and outside the country.

“Because I keep on saying that we need investments. And two major key issues that you need to have on ground to have investment in the country is one secure environment, which the Minister of Interior has responsibility in ensuring that Nigeria is secure.

“And, also there is less corruption because no investor will come to a country whereby you will feel insecure. And also there is challenge of bribery and corruption,” he said.

Musa said that he had always tried to see how ICPC could achieve its mandate of prevention, enforcement, education and enlightenment to combat the serious challenge facing the country.

“And I have been in discussion with the minister, we have discussed a lot about how we can partner to ensure that ICPC, Ministry of Interior and its agencies work closely to ensure that we help this country in fighting this challenge of corruption.

“And, the only way we can do that is by coming together like the gathering we are having today and also to sit down and carefully look at how can we work closely,” he said(NAN)

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