President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday promised that he will soon instruct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reveal the names of former government officials who have voluntarily returned looted funds to the coffers of the Federal Government in “due course”, saying that early disclosure of their identities “may jeopardize the possibility of bigger recoveries.”
“In due course, the Central Bank of Nigeria will make information available to the public on the surrendered funds,” said President Buhari at the 2015 edition of the annual Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation Lecture in Lagos.
He said his government owes Nigerians adequate information on recovery of looted funds, explaining that it is part of the collective effort to change the country from the “bastion of corruption it currently is, to a place of probity and transparency”.
In his speech, Buhari said his government has identified corruption as the major problem facing the country. He noted that the phenomenon must be curtailed if the issues of collapsing educational system, diversification of our economy, fostering a welfare based agenda for the disadvantaged, infrastructural development, which were central to his government’s change agenda, could be effectively tackled.
“The primary attention that tackling corruption earned in the course of our campaign and in determining the final outcome of the election underpins how seriously Nigerians see corruption as a fundamental factor crippling the progress and development of the country. Nigerians are, indeed, convinced that except we curtail corruption, the country will remain in perennial regression.
“It is upon this conviction of our people that corruption poses great danger and should be curtailed that we anchor our hope. It underpins our assurance that the efforts of this government in checking corruption will yield significant successes in the final outcome.
“In other words, we note that sheer heroism cannot achieve the elimination of corruption from our social space. What is most required is the conviction of the populace that corruption is an antithesis to social cohesion and development, and must be eliminated. We must get to a point where every Nigerian begins to hate corruption with a passion, and collectively determine to root it out of our body polity.”