Senate President Bukola Saraki on Monday attributed the inability of some state governors to meet their obligations to their workers and the entire citizens to the issue of corruption which, he said, had assumed a worrisome development in the country.
Saraki stated this when the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Mr.Ekpo Nta, led top officials of his agency to pay him a courtesy visit.
The senate president lamented that the embarrassing level of corruption in the country had taken a dangerous dimension to the extent that the three tiers of government were finding it difficult to pay salaries and provide basic social infrastructure.
He said, “The 8th Senate has a position on zero tolerance for corruption. We want to make it a priority. For us, we have realised that it is truly endangering the entire system. It is affecting our national development.
“The cost of corruption on our national life is beyond financial cost. You see in some states now that they are not paying salaries, it had led to poor funding of the education and health sectors and it’s affecting cost of governance and failure of public institutions and infrastructure.”
“For the eight senate, making the fight against corruption a priority is a must and we are committed to that. Our goal is to work with you to reduce significantly, the level of corruption in this country.”
He pledged that the eight senate would work closely with the ICPC and other anti graft agencies to fight the scourge.
He said, “There are things we ought to do that would help prevention especially among the professionals. Bankers who notice that the account of an Assistant Directors is running into billions of Naira should have a way of blowing the whistle. We have to be creative to bring everybody along.”
The ICPC boss said the Act that established the agency, which was enacted in year 2000, was the first Act of parliament that addressed corruption directly and that the United Nations convention against corruption came four years later in 2004.
He noted that the issue of corruption in the country has always been there, not that it was impressed upon the country by the International Community.