President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need to completely eliminate all forms of corrupt practices to set the country on the path of greatness and prosperity.
Buhari stated this at the 2017 Annual National Management Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in Abuja on Monday.
The president was represented by Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Civil Service of the Federation at the event with theme: “Corporate Governance and Institutional Performance’’.
According to the President, his administration is committed toward fighting corruption at all levels of the government.
“To set this country on the path of greatness and prosperity, complete elimination of all forms of corrupt practices must be in the front burner and our collective consciousness always.
“You will agree with me that a great nation is the reward of great leadership built on good governance, with strict adherence to the ideals and principles of corporate governance.
“This is our motivation and value proposition.
“My administration will, therefore, continue to fight corruption and associated social vices at all levels until they are exterminated from our body polity,’’ he said.
He also called on the NIM to ensure that its code of conduct became a culture for all Nigerians through their interaction and collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant agencies.
He said if all Nigerians aligned themselves with the Institute’s code of conduct, Nigeria would become an enviable nation.
He added that the involvement of the Institute in the key function areas of governance would be appreciated.
“I recognise that some key decision makers in my administration and our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), who are members of the Institute, are making great strides and discharging their duties creditably.
President Buhari said that the dividends of democracy, especially in the areas of provision of security, fighting corruption, employment generation and diversification of the economy, had been well taken care of.
He commended the contributions of NIM towards national development and the professionalism it has demonstrated in the areas of Public Policy Advocacy and other programmes on topical issues affecting Nigeria.
“I am aware that burning and contemporary issues of national importance are usually spotlighted at such forum with the sole aim of supporting the policy formulation of the government.
“This, I believe has been involving the cream of decision makers, who will assist in the policy implementation at their various organisations and endeavours.’’
The president further challenged the institute to improve on its visibility at public sessions of the National Assembly when Bills were being debated.
He added that this would make more robust professional management input that would be most relevant in the public domain.
“I wish to also point out that NIM has been contributing immensely to nation building over the years, especially in the area of capacity building.
“Having been a pillar of support to successive governments by volunteering useful professional advice to them, I urge the Institute to extend such hand of fellowship to my regime.
“The Nigerian project is faced with several challenges on every facet of the society and the solutions to these challenges must be fast tracked if we must get the economy up and running again.
“I urge the Institute to sustain its current efforts in ensuring professionalism and good ethical conduct among its members and Nigerians in general,’’ he added.
Prof. Munzali Jibril, President of NIM, called on those in the private and public sectors of the country to retrace their steps and ensure official business with recourse to the principle of due process was conducted.
“It must be pointed out that both the private and public sectors are guilty of flouting the principles of corporate governance in their dealings.
“This is why both sectors are heavily weighed down by the consequences of looking other ways instead of abiding by the code of corporate governance already put in place for smooth and proper running of their operations.’’
Jibril further called on the government and other employers of labour to address the issues of workers’ welfare.
“It is given that a poorly paid and motivated employer is more prone to side-stepping the rules in order to have unhindered access to his employers coffers.
“It is almost impossible for an employee who superintends millions or billions of naira of his employers funds not to be tempted to help himself when he is poorly remunerated,’’ he said.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to adopt attitudinal change and a complete reorientation.
He said that the syndrome of get-rich-quick by most Nigerians, especially people in the position of authority who jettison ethics and good conscience, must be tackled.