Speech by The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, At The Special Town Hall Meeting on The Fight Against Corruption in Abuja On Thursday, 7 Nov. 2019
Let me formally welcome you all to this Special Town Hall Meeting on the Fight Against Corruption. I want to specially welcome my colleagues, the Honourable Ministers, who have taken time off their busy schedule to be here. May I also welcome our distinguished panellists for today’s Town Hall Meeting, and indeed all those who have taken the pains to be here. Thank you all.
2. Honourable Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Information and Culture launched the Town Hall Meeting series in Lagos on April 25th 2016 to provide a platform for the federal government to regularly give account of its stewardship to the people, get a feedback and input from them and, overall, to enhance citizens’ participation in governance. This will be the 17th edition of the Town Hall Meetings.
3. As I said earlier, today’s Special Town Hall Meeting is on the fight against corruption. The fight against corruption is one of the three cardinal programmes of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, with the others being the war against insecurity and the revamping of the economy.
4. Yes, this is not the first time Nigeria is fighting the canker-worm of corruption, but it is the first time that the fight is being backed by a strong political will, with a President renowned for his honour, dignity and incorruptibility personally leading the fight.
And that is making all the difference, as you will soon hear from our panellists.
5. One may say that the war against corruption is still a war in progress. But it is also fair to say that corruption has now been driven under the table, and that the corrupt ones can no longer flaunt the proceeds of their corruption the way they used to do in the past.
That is a major step forward. After all, every successful battle is a step towards winning a war.
6. The war against corruption is a war of survival for Nigeria. This is because the success of the other key programmes of the government, revamping the economy and tackling insecurity, is closely intertwined with how well the nation is able to fight corruption. For as long as the nation fails to check corruption, tackling insecurity and the revamping the economy will remain a mirage. In other words, the fight against corruption is pivotal to the success of the other cardinal programmes of the Administration.
7. Finally, I want to reiterate that the anti-corruption war is not Buhari’s war, It is Nigeria’s war, hence the need for every citizen to support it. Part of the efforts to win the support of Nigerians is to carry them along every inch of the way. Today’s Special Town Hall Meeting on the Fight Against Corruption fits into that effort, as it provides an opportunity for the major stakeholders in the federal government’s battle against corruption to give account of their stewardship, and for Nigerians to have the opportunity to interact with them, ask them questions and also make suggestions. This way, we can all be on the same page as far as this war of survival is concerned.
8. Once again, honourable Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to be here for this Town Hall Meeting. We will now take presentations from our panellists. After that, we will take questions and comments from the audience.