By Ifeanyi Nwoko
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has advised the Federal Government and anti-graft agencies to focus more on stopping corruption in public offices than dedicate time on recoveries alone.
He gave the advice while featuring in News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Saraki said that the anti-corruption fight as currently being prosecuted was only directed at recovery of stolen funds, and promised that the National Assembly would help to re-focus the campaign.
According to him, although recovery is good, it will make no sense to allow more money to be looted only to begin another face of recoveries. Recovery alone cannot amount to anti-corruption fight.
Cue in audio
“You see, let us separate recovery from fight against corruption.
“We still believe that yes, recoveries are being done, but are we doing anything to actively stop corruption going on now?
“This recovery has gone out there; they are two separate issues – the focus I am seeing is recovery but corruption is still there; that is the area that we are focusing on as a senate.
“Anybody that brings a case about what is happening now, we will go in, look at those agencies and expose them.
“We want to continue to represent the people in that way,”
Cue out audio
He gave the assurance that the senate would continue to ensure that more funds were not stolen in the country.
Saraki said that the senate already had a roadmap for the remaining two years of the 8th Assembly.
He said that apart from corruption, building the economy and creating jobs were top on the list of areas that the upper chamber would give attention.
“Over the next two years, we will continue to focus on the economy to see how we can get the economy moving, how we can create jobs for the teeming youths that are unemployed.
“We will also give attention to improvement on health and education. Education is going to take a lot of attention in the next two years.
“We are going to be looking at the social sides, the issue of education and universal health coverage. That is something that we want to push.
“We will continue to support agriculture. We are looking at some bills that we can pass that will give some kind of stability; it is one of the concerns when people invest in agriculture.
“You know agriculture takes years; people are wondering that the Federal Government can reverse policies, so we are trying to see what laws can give some measure of security in the areas of investment.
“Much of what we are doing is in economy and intervention; we want the people to see, and if you are having problem anywhere, bring it to your senator. We want to be responding to the issues,” he said.
Saraki said that the senate had already intervened in a lot of issues that affected Nigerians like the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) strike which the upper chamber had brought to government’s attention.
He added that the senate also intervened when there were concerns about Islam and Christianity, when communication companies tried to raise data rates and in fight against corruption.