President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night assured world leaders that the capacity of government agencies in Nigeria was being strengthened to institutionalize reforms that would ensure transparency and good governance.
The president said this while presenting Nigeria’s statement at the 71th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71) in New York, U.S.A.
The theme of the ongoing 71th session of the UNGA is “Sustainable Development Goals: a Universal Push to Transform the World”.
Mr. Buhari said that fighting corruption remained a cardinal pillar of the current administration in Nigeria.
According to him, corruption freezes development and undermines the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He, however, expressed delight that the anti-corruption campaign of his administration had started yielding positive dividends, including significant recovery of stolen assets.
“The recovered funds are being channeled towards the development of critical infrastructure and the implementation of social inclusion programmes for our people,” he added.
President Buhari said Nigeria remained committed to achieving the SGDs, which underscored the imperative “for our collective will towards finding enduring and sustainable solutions to addressing global disparities”.
He said Nigeria would continue to call for speedy and unconditional recovery of illicit assets stashed abroad.
“Nigeria supports the development of an international legal framework to enforce anti-corruption measures and strengthen existing international institutions to effectively deal with corrupt practices,” he said.
While acknowledging that Nigeria is not spared the adverse effects of the current global economic downturn, Mr. Buhari said his administration remained undeterred and had embarked on comprehensive diversification reforms by shifting emphasis to non-oil sectors.
“Our strategic objective is to stimulate the economy, restore growth and accelerate recovery.
“In doing this, we are taking measures to reduce the cost of governance and increase expenditure on infrastructure and ensure environmental best practices,’’ he said.(NAN)