The Minister of Finance, Dr Segun Aganga has said that one of the major concerns of the present administration is the rating of Nigeria as 121 out of the 180 most corrupt countries in the world.
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The minister who disclosed in Lagos on Tuesday at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) event tagged “Road Show” in the South West, however said that efforts are ongoing to reposition the country on the right path.
Aganga noted that Nigeria’s current ranking as 121 out of 180 in the global corruption perception index (CPI), was unacceptable and that as a people, Nigerians must be ready to battle corruption through the promotion of transparency, accountability and the establishment of checks and balances to strengthen the rule of law with a view to achieving significant improvement in Nigeria’s ranking in the corruption index in 2013.
The minister who was represented by Alh Madiu Haruna, Deputy Executive Director, Economy Research and Policy Management said that past efforts aimed at combating corruption had not been efficacious.
Haruna said that an effective anti-corruption strategy must incorporate real effort to significantly reduce the reported causes of corruption, namely lack of social security, dearth of employment opportunities and wide spread poverty.
” It gives me great pleasure to be part of you this morning on the occasion of the South-West zone road show and town hall meeting. I wish to seize this opportunity to congratulate NEITI for the success recorded in the Owerri and Kaduna road shows.
“It is believed that this forum will work even beyond the set objective of promoting transparency in government finances by enacting and implementing stringent laws on financial reporting, disclosure requirements,” he said.
He said it was also believed that if the anti-corruption agency effectively performed its functions, Nigeria’s position could be shifted from the current ranking of 121 to 60 by 2013.
He said that the ministry would ensure strong commitment to combat all forms of corruption at all levels.
“I will like to reiterate that it is my aspiration to see more of my ministry’s collaboration with NEITI and other relevant organizations so as to make significant positive impact on Nigerians.
“I identify with the cardinal principle of coordinated approach and collaboration with relevant organizations and agencies which l believe, would help in the achievement of the lofty goals now and in the near future,” he added.
The minister said that with the huge presence of the best brains to combat corruption, I have no doubt in my mind that the expectation of people would be met, while urging Nigerians to count on the cooperation of the finance ministry in combating corruption