President Muhammadu Buhari in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday described corruption in Nigeria as an “embarrassing topic.”
He was responding to a question if Russia had become the new best friend of Africa during a panel discussion on the second day of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, where he reiterated government’s resolve to actualise his promise to reduce poverty in Nigeria.
The President said Russia had remained a committed development partner to Nigeria.
“Those who focus on the progress of developing countries would see what Russia right from its days as the Soviet Union had done for us. We will never forget that we went over our civil war with the help of Russia and since then politically and economically, the Russians have been helping Nigeria in so many ways,” he said.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying that Russia was ‘‘visibly helping’’ Nigeria in all the priority areas of his government – security, economy and the fight against corruption-, for which he is grateful.”
The statement read, “On anti-corruption, the Nigerian leader described corruption as an ‘‘embarrassing topic’’ for developing countries, highlighting measures by the Nigerian government to eliminate corruption through lawful enforcement and preventive measures.
‘‘Those who are following our administration’s efforts on accountability at all levels will notice that we have made some progress. We have recovered hundred millions of dollars from people who took them out of the country and the economy.
‘‘We have recovered assets and given directive that they should be sold and the money returned to government coffers. We have also created a treasury single account where all government monies and revenues go into a single account so that we can trace how they go out.”
Meanwhile, the President on Wednesday held talks with King Salman in Riyadh, on the sidelines of the second day of the conference.
At the event, both leaders expressed commitment to deeper partnership for the development of both countries.
Shehu said Buhari and the Saudi monarch reviewed aspects of cooperation between both countries and agreed to advance cooperation in the areas of oil and gas, given the similarities of both countries as big producers of the commodity.
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