DAKAR (TrustLa) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has described his country’s ratings in global corruption indexes as “embarrassing,” warning newly appointed ministers that no form of abuse will be tolerated as his administration seeks to stamp out corruption, the Champion newspaper reported.
Nigeria has regularly been ranked as the most corrupt country in the world in Transparency International’s annual corruption perception index.
"Corruption is therefore the monster that we need to confront and defeat, in order to raise the country’s integrity profile," Jonathan said during a ceremony to swear in the ministers on Thursday, adding the fight against corruption was critical in the government’s efforts to improve the lives of the West African country’s 158 million people.
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil exporter but experts say years of bad governance has meant much of the wealth derived from this resource has been embezzled and mismanaged, leaving the majority of the population in poverty.
In the past decade the country has set up legal mechanisms as well as several anti-corruption agencies to investigate alleged graft and prosecute offenders, but the implementation of these initiatives has been slow.
Jonathan said he had ordered the country’s anti-corruption agencies to carry out a comprehensive audit of all ministries and departments of the government.
"You must remember that Nigerians have serious concerns about the integrity of their leaders. We cannot just talk about transformation; Nigerians must see us taking serious steps in that regard,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan was elected President for a full term in April.
(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)