General News of Wed, 7 Mar 20189
Ghana, Nigeria must fight corruption together – President Buhari
President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari says he is looking forward to any form of collaboration between his country and Ghana to fight against endemic corruption that had eaten into the fabrics of both countries.
Praising Ghana for its renewed efforts to curb the canker in his speech at the 61st Independence Day celebration in Accra yesterday, he assured President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that he has in him a good partner in the crusade.
He commended the government and parliament for the passage of the Special Prosecutor Bill into law that had seen Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, appointed into office.
“Your excellency can be assured that he has in me a good partner and I look forward to any form of collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana to tackle endemic corruption,” he said.
President Buhari, who was the special guest at the celebration, was accompanied by some Nigerian government officials and members of the Nigerian senate who are on a different mission to Ghana.
His call for collaboration to fight corruption would increase the long list of areas of partnership between the two West African countries including trade, security and entertainment.
Tracing the bilateral relations between the two countries to historic days, he said the new joint commission for cooperation recently formed had created a platform for the two countries to settle their differences.
This, the Nigerian President said would help champion developmental objectives and ensure that Ghanaians and Nigerians lived in each other’s country without any inhibition.
President Buhari lauded President Nana Akufo-Addo’s role in the brokerage of peace in Togo and appealed to political leaders in Togo to resolve their problems to enable the country leap forward in development.
He urged Ghana and Nigeria to continue to provide the impetus for the realisation of objectives of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) adding that “it is our duty to ensure peace and development of our nations.”
Congratulating the government for its first anniversary in power and successes chalked, he said the Akufo-Addo administration had positioned Ghana well to Foreign Direct Investment.
President Buhari paid glowing tribute to various Ghanaian personalities that contributed to Ghana’s independence and wished the country well in the years ahead.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, speaking on the theme “Ghana Beyond Aid” said, corruption, specifically, the looting of public funds, continued to hinder the development of the country.
“Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse,” he said, adding that with the office of the Special Prosecutor now in place, both former and present public officials would be held accountable for their actions in the coming days.
On the long awaited Right to Information Act, he said the bill would be sent to Parliament to be passed into law before Parliament rises, as it would increase transparency and be a critical weapon in the fight against corruption.
“The protection of the public purse is a social common good, and it depends on all of us. It is in all our interest that corruption does not thrive, and we police each other’s behaviour.
“Going beyond aid means Ghanaians should not serve as fronts for foreign companies to defraud our country. It will mean we all pay our taxes, and it will mean we all help to take care of government property as though it were our own,” President Akufo-Addo said.