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Make public investigation of SGF, NIA, cases, group tells presidency



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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called on the Presidency to make public the outcome of investigation of alleged corruption cases against some top government officials.

The cases involved the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayodele Oke and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Executive Director of the group, Ms Idayat Hassan said at the Citizen’s Town Hall Meeting tagged“ Buharimeter’’ that 65 days after the suspension, no action had been taken

Hassan said that those cases and the most recent one on Maina Gate were part of the few cases that this present administration needed to look into and tell Nigerians the outcome of investigations.

This, she said would give Nigerians the confidence that the administration was indeed fighting corruption, adding that in today Nigeria, there were many scandals begging for attention.

“The Buharimeter is an independent monitoring tool that evaluates the implementation of the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), made in the prelude to the 2015 general elections.

“ Like other election pledges monitoring initiatives around the globe, Buharimeter evolved out of the concern to address the challenges of governance, civic participation and effective service delivery in Nigeria.

“It is a central focus to bridge the existing gap between the government and the governed thereby facilitating a process through which democratic accountability becomes the norm.’’

She said that the Buhari administration campaigned on three prongs, which were economy, tackling corruption, and security adding that so far so good, while there were some positive developments, challenges remained abound.

She said in the fight against corruption, the administration pride itself with landmark achievements like the signing up to the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

Hassan said it also set up efficiency units, whistle blowing policy, establishment of Presidential Committees on Corruption, asset recovery unit and other such initiatives.

She, however, said that in spite of milestones recorded in the fight against corruption, there were still genuine concerns over how the war was being prosecuted.

Hassan, however, commended the administration in its fight against insecurity, adding that the government made headway in the North East.

She said that on the economic front, the government’s diversification drive was touching on different sub-sectors of the economy through interventions such as Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), and Presidential Fertilizer Initiative among others.

She urged the government to do more in education, health, sports, women and youth empowerment as the sectors were lagging behind.

Hassan also urged the government to step up its intervention in the South-West, South-East and South-South to match up with the north so as to create equality in the nation.

She urged the leaders to seek for better ways to bring development and economic sustainability to Nigerians, adding “now is the time to act and deliver efficient and effectively public goods and services to the citizenry.’’

Also speaking, Mr Udo Ilo, the Country Head, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), who was represented by Ms Ukairo Ukpai, Programmes Personnel said the meeting was apt and thought provoking.

Ilo said that more than two years since the advent of the present administration, there were many questions begging for answers.

“One of the challenges that this government recognised that it would face was the high expectation that heralded it.

“I am convinced that Nigeria has everything it needs to overcome its problems. I am equally convinced that this government has all it needs to transform Nigeria.’’

He said that the leaked memo by the Minister of State for Petroleum on alleged illegalities and opacity in the operations of the NNPC was terrifying.

According to him, there is the need for government to push for more meaningful inquiry.

Ilo said that the country required some very serious steps to deal with these challenges as well as to restore the hope of citizens in the government.

He said the meeting also provided an opportunity for reflection and frank conversation on how this government had fared so far.

This, according to him is because governance and democracy do not end on Election Day, what happens after election is equally important if not even more so.

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