By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Presidency has vowed never to relent the ongoing anti-corruption fight despite the growing the criticism against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Shehu also dismissed insinuations that Buhari was selective in the anti-graft war, but that corruption was fighting back.
He said: “Let me say one thing. Those whose illicit ways of accumulating money have been stopped will criticize this government but all that will not derail the unfaltering commitment of President, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the war against corruption.
“He is aware that this was one of the main reasons why Nigerians in their millions put their trust in him; the main reason they voted him into power in 2015.
“To keep that trust of ordinary Nigerians who voted him into the office, he has vowed to give corruption a good fight. He will not let them down.”
“Corruption has been fighting back vehemently, finding accomplices in various forms and guises. Nevertheless, the Buhari administration will not relent.”
Shehu also assured Nigerians that gone were the days when corruption reigned supreme in Nigeria. “Nothing will return our country to those sad, old days of wanton thievery that have plunged us into the economic mess from which Nigeria is currently recovering. The war against corruption in Nigeria is one of those clashes between good and evil, where good is determined to triumph.”
Highlighting the various measures introduced to promote transparency by the present administration, Malam Shehu disclosed that upon directives by the President, the National Hajj Commission carried out an audit of accommodation agents in both Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia and as result, a saving of more than sixteen million Dollars (USD 16.7 m) is being made..
“Each Hajj pilgrim is being saved between 600 to 1,000 Saudi Riyals, which is about N60,000-N100,000 on accommodation, money that had lined the pockets of agents in the past. This year, houses are being rented directly from owners”, he said.
He commended Nigerians for embracing the whistle-blower policy by “taking extraordinary risks to expose corruption.” Speaking on the ongoing rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the relocation of flight services to Kaduna for the six-week period of the closure, Shehu has encouraged the government and people of Kaduna State to take advantage of the social and economic benefits of the relocation.
“The government of Nigeria has done a big thing for Kaduna. You must show appreciation to this by supporting the administration”, he said.
Referring to the “massive cash releases for capital projects in excess of a record one trillion Naira under the 2016 budget,” the Presidential Aide hailed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola for being the first Minister to do an inspection drive on all the federal roads across the nation.
Shehu added upon all the projects, the Mambila power project, the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway modernization projects and the new Presidential Initiative on Fertilizer were of paramount importance to President Buhari, assuring that he was determined to execute the projects.