President Goodluck Jonathan said on Monday in Abuja that claims of massive corruption in Nigeria were misplaced and “over-amplified’’.
He made the declaration at the presidential power reform transactions signing ceremony held at the Presidential Villa.
A recent report submitted to the U.S. Congress by the Secretary of State John Kerry had alleged massive corruption at all levels of the Nigerian government.
Jonathan said that contrary to such reports his administration had curtailed corruption and was working hard to carry on the fight against the menace.
“ Let me continue to assure Nigerians that yes there are issues of corruption in this country but somehow it has been over amplified.
“People should watch how we’ve been conducting government business. We’ve been bringing down the issues of corruption gradually.
“If you look at the fertiliser sector, you will agree with me that if government actors are interested we would have continued the same story of buying all kinds of things, awarding all kinds of contracts in the name of fertiliser. But, we are not doing that, we have sanitised that sector.
“Look at the power sector, when we started initially there were stories in the papers but at the end, even when I went to the U.S., companies from there that participated said publicly that the process was transparent and issues of corruption were not there.
“At least today we’ve also heard directly, that the process was transparent and that there were no issues of manipulations or corruption.
“I plead with Nigerians that the country belongs to all of us and we will all protect what belongs to us, what belongs to our children and what belongs to the generation yet unborn.
“We are committed to doing our best for this country and God willing, we will succeed.’’
The president said he was happy about the comments from the private sector that the process of privatisation of the power sector was transparent and devoid of corruption.
He reiterated government’s commitment to transparency and renewed emphasis on inclusiveness in core transactions in the power sector.
The president noted that the ceremony signaled a major step in the implementation of the power sector roadmap.
He re-assured of his administration’s commitment to ending inadequate power supply in the country.
“To fellow Nigerians, my dear brothers and sisters, this age-long problem of inadequate power supply will be brought to an end by God’s grace.
“We are dealing in a very dedicated way with much overdue infrastructural and corporate upgrades, and despite the challenges, we are making steady progress each day towards permanent and lasting correction.
“Nigerians must have electricity for domestic and industrial use and there is no turning back and there is no relenting.
“This government cares about you and will not rest until you can sleep well at night without the irritating noise of generators.
“Let me reassure all Nigerians, that working in concert with our partners, we will continue to pursue the reform of the power sector with intensity, vigour and determination; there is no shortcut.’’
President Jonathan also congratulated the signing parties for reaching the significant target in the privatisation process and commended them for their confidence in the economy.
“Your zeal and presence here today is an ample proof of your endorsement and confidence in the implementation and progress so far of our power reform agenda,’’ he said.
He reassured that government would not design the market structures for the electricity industry but continue to set the rules of the game and act as a responsible facilitator and regulator.
Government handed over 25 per cent payment certificate to five successful bidders to the five PHCN successive generating companies.