Lagos State Governor,  Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has reiterated the need for value reorientation in the society and a concerted effort against the menace of corruption in order to make meaningful progress towards achieving significant improvement in all spheres of the national endeavours, particularly the economic and social well-being of the people.
The Governor made this remark at a 2-day National Anti-Corruption Colloquium, with the theme, “Strong Will in Implementing Anti-Corruption Measures in the Public Sector,” held at Eko Hotel & Suite, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat said that the state government is firmly committed to doing the right thing, including judicious application of resources entrusted in its care in the best interest of the people and in line with relevant provisions of the law and other extant regulations.

The Governor noted that “In a bid to address the challenges posed to everyone by corruption and its resultant negative and devastating impact, some measures had been put in place to promote accountability and transparency in the way and manner public resources are managed”.

“The measures were designed to achieve two broad objectives; to prevent the occurrence of the act of corruption and also to ensure that whoever commits the offense is made to face the consequence under the law, to serve as deterrence to others,” he said.

Besides, he noted the different measures put in place by the state government, Sanwo-Olu noted that the state has implemented procurement laws, financial regulations, internal controls, treasury management, and compliance risks amongst other initiatives put in place.

While noting the aptness of the colloquium, the Governor opined that he believes that the event will answer the salient question of, “why has the issue of corruption particularly in the public sector remained worrisome despite the measures that have been put in place including the establishment of anti-corruption institutions”. He added that the event will seek to unravel and come up with new ideas and strategies for the consideration of relevant organs of government and policymakers.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, Rt. Hon. Prince Kayode Moshood Akiolu urged every Nigerian to be involved in eliminating corruption in the society or reduce it to the barest minimum, to enable the country to deliver on her enormous potential to the benefit of her citizens.

The Chairman added that corruption is a huge burden on the neck of any nation and that it is only nations that successfully shake off the massive load that can match to a dawn of real growth and development.

Akiolu noted that in his countless interactions with the citizens in Nigeria and beyond, “everybody agrees that the dysfunction we find in our society are symptoms of corruption. What seems to be lacking is the common desire to pull in the same direction anti-corruption”.

Speaking on the efforts made by the present administration, the chairman noted that the Federal government has been setting the pace as expected. He added that anti-corruption units have been set up in various federal ministries, departments and agencies with a mandate to check corruption in their domains.

While speaking on making corruption a capital offense, Akiolu said that corruption is a very complex issue and must be approached thoughtfully and smartly. He noted that the colloquium is part of the nation’s ongoing efforts to rein in the monster of endemic corruption.

In his goodwill, the Oba of Lagos who was represented by the Opeluwa of Lagos, Chief AbdulLateef Aderibigbe Ajose admonished the federal government to make a strict law that is against corruption which would make anyone who wants to govern know they are there to serve the people and not enrich themselves.

He noted that corruption is a very big disease, it is something that is eating deeply into the economy of the country adding that “If we can’t stop corruption we can never get to where we are supposed to be. So let’s stop corruption so that we can enjoy the commonwealth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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