Jonathan not ‘soft on corruption’ – Presidency
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday reiterated his commitment to curbing corruption in the country saying that those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe report will be penalised.
The president, who disclosed this through a press statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said that he is worried by recent reports, comments and agitations aimed at creating the “totally false impression that the Jonathan Administration is not doing enough to curb corruption in Nigeria”.
“President Goodluck Jonathan clearly enunciated his Administration’s zero tolerance for corruption on his assumption of office and has since worked to strengthen the nation’s anti-corruption agencies for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
“Certainly, nothing has been done or left undone under the President’s watch to justify the labelling of his administration as ‘soft on corruption’”, Mr Abati said.
“He has appointed a tried and tested corruption investigator to head the EFCC. He declined to swear in a nominee for the chairmanship of the ICPC when questions were raised by the public about the propriety of his nomination and clearance by the Senate; and recently nominated a more acceptable replacement.
“Much of the politically-motivated agitations alleging tardiness in the war against corruption revolve around the Administration’s handling of the reports of probes that have been undertaken into the management of fuel subsidies in the country.
“President Jonathan wishes to reaffirm, once again, that there will be no sacred cows in the matter and that any organization or individual found guilty of fraud or corruption will ultimately face the full weight of sanctions prescribed by the extant laws of the country.
“The report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidies has already been referred by the President to the EFCC through the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
“In compliance with the President’s clear and unequivocal directives, the EFCC is currently undertaking a thorough and painstaking investigation of all indictments made by the committee with a view to establishing water-tight cases that will be taken before courts of competent jurisdiction as quickly as possible.
“The report of the Committee headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede which was set up by the Federal Government to verify fuel subsidy payments has also been received and is being expeditiously reviewed. Appropriate action will follow.
“President Jonathan urges Nigerians to be patient and assured that the guilty will definitely not go unpunished as justice will certainly be done in the matter.
“It is also noteworthy that to strengthen ongoing reforms and transformation of Nigeria’s Petroleum sector and in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government, President Jonathan recently approved the re-composition of the executive management team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“Furthermore, in continuation of efforts by his Administration to sanitize Nigeria’s entire petroleum sector, entrench probity, transparency and accountability, and rid the sector of fraud and corruption to ensure that ordinary Nigerians enjoy more benefits from this God-given natural resource, President Jonathan has directed that the report of the technical committee which reviewed the Petroleum Industry Bill be speedily evaluated and appraised by relevant government ministries and presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval before being returned to the National Assembly for speedy promulgation.
“President Jonathan remains fully committed to the diligent and effective implementation of his Administration’s Agenda for National Transformation and the eradication of official corruption which is evidently antithetical to the attainment of the stated goals of his administration.
“In the prosecution of the war against corruption, President Jonathan believes that the interests of national peace, stability, progress and development override all other considerations and are therefore beyond any compromise.
“The President continues to uphold this belief in all his private and official actions” Mr Abati said.