16th September, 2017
Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has described the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari as unimpeachable and remained intact in the fight against corruption.
Onyeama told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the amount of money siphoned out of the country was staggering.
According to him, however, the Federal Government has been engaging countries where the money was stashed away for repatriation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is known as a crusader against corruption; his integrity in unimpeachable.
“The high level of corruption has played a direct role in the development deficit in the country.
“We know that corruption fights but it’s a fight this government intends to fight to the end.
“We will require global cooperation to facilitate restitution and repatriation of those funds. Corruption is an impediment to development,” the Minister said.
Onyeama said Switzerland had repatriated about $1 billion in looted funds to Nigeria while high-level discussions were ongoing with Britain, Qatar, the U.S. and a host of other countries.
He explained that corruption was endemic and was not going to be won overnight, stressing that the Federal Government was determined to block financial leakages in the system.
The minister added that Buhari had also made it clear that there would be no immunity for high-profile corrupt individuals, adding that the Whistle Blowers’ policy was working.
According to him, the Federal Government has the records of all the money recovered from proceeds of corruption and that the money would be channelled to appropriate projects that impact on the people.
He, however, said government was yet to ‘name and shame’ those from whom looted money was recovered so as not to discourage restitution.
Onyeama said Africa was blessed with various human and natural resources but that the enabling environments needed to be created for the continent to realise its full potentials.
The Minister also said that majority of Nigerians were hard working and honest people who were found in every country in the world.
On the reported skirmishes on the Bakassi Peninsula, Onyeama said there were no fewer than four million Nigerians in Cameroon, adding that Nigeria-Cameroon relations was cordial.
He also disclosed that Nigeria was calling for the reform of the UN Security Council to reflect the current realities.
According to him, Nigeria is pushing for two permanent members’ seats for Africa on the Council, adding that Nigeria was ready to serve Africa in that capacity.
The theme for the UN General Assembly is: ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’, holding from Sept. 19 to 25. (