By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned international criminal gangs to stay clear of Nigeria as his administration will tackle corruption headlong.
As the fifth speaker at the ongoing 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74) in New York, United States of America yesterday, the President said his government will vigorously prosecute a recent attempt by an international organisation, Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID), to obtain $9.6 billion from Nigeria as a judgement debt awarded it by a London court.
Already, senior government officials led by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami are in London, United Kingdom to appeal the $9.6 billion P&ID judgement against Nigeria.
He said “Organised criminal networks, often acting with impunity across international borders present new challenges where only collective action can deliver genuine results.
“This is true in the battle against violent extremism, against trafficking in people and drugs and against corruption and money laundering. The present Nigerian government is facing the challenges of corruption head-on. We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.”
Holding social media outlets responsible for fuelling major crimes such as mass killings, Buhari called on major technology companies to be alive to their responsibilities.
On the need for the developed world to assist African nations overcome poverty and underdevelopment, Buhari recalled that the United States of America collaborated with Europe and Japan to help them recover from the effects of the World War II.
He suggested that such hand of fellowship should be extended to African countries so that they can overcome poverty and deprivation.
On efforts made by his administration to deal with poverty in Nigeria, the President said “In this regard, Nigeria has developed a National Social Investment Programme – a pro-poor scheme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country.
Under this initiative easy access to financial services are facilitated to our traders, artisans, market women and co-operative societies. This type of initiative can help lessen and eventually eliminate mass poverty in Africa.
At the core of our efforts to build an inclusive society, our programmes are focused on youth and women empowerment. These programmes aim at ensuring women and youth participation in governance, industry, climate action and agriculture.”
The President lamented the ascendancy of conflicts and violence globally as he said “From Asia to the Middle East, Africa to South America, violence and the threat of conflict continue to blight the lives of too many people.