President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday met with staff working in the Presidential Villa and warned them to shun corrupt activities.
He said as long as he remained the president, the fight against corruption would continue.
The president, who restated his resolve to fight corruption in the country headlong, said whoever is found to be corrupt would be charged to court.
He urged those who might want to try his resolve to ask those who are currently facing corruption charges in courts across the country.
Buhari said: “All fraud must stop. If they don’t believe us, they should try and see those we caught red handed with public funds. This exercise will continue as long as this leadership is here.
“Whoever takes anything that does not belong to him or that he is not entitled to, it will be documented and the person will be taken to court. This is the only way I think we can bail ourselves out. I am asking you to dedicate yourselves more to your country because I said more than 30 years ago, that there is no other country but Nigeria.” The president said he was determined to rehabilitate the country for the sake of “our children and our grandchildren.”
He said: “I have never in my life, from class monitor to this place, twice in different forms, believed in corruption. In what we are doing, if we had made mistakes along the lines, the country would have been further backward than this.
“But we don’t touch anybody who did not touch public funds. You should behave yourself. If you don’t have houses in Abuja and the whole of Europe, you will sleep soundly. You and your family will earn respect. But if you shortchange the treasury, you will be caught and I pity your family because people will be abusing them. People will be calling you big thieves that how did you raise money to build all the houses in Abuja and Europe with your meagre salary.
“I think personal integrity is something to be encouraged. I assure you that I am absolutely dedicated to serve Nigeria. Those who behave themselves will never regret, but those who don’t behave themselves, na their problem.”
Commenting on the state of the nation, Buhari said the economy is in comatose because past administrations refused to save for the raining days even when crude oil sold above $100 per barrel. He lamented that even though several billions of dollars had been invested into the power sector in the last 16 years, there was no appreciable improvement in power.
He said: “You know we have gone through a lot of change over the past year. We met 42 ministries and we found out the economy cannot take it because of the ineptitude in place.
“We have turned ourselves to a mono economy depending only on oil. Most people threw away their farm and solid minerals equipment and rushed to the city to get oil money and enjoy.
“What used to be an average of $100 from 1999 to 2014 went down to 30 dollars. What should concern out and the rest of the Nigerian elite is how we can continue to sustain ourselves in terms of materials and security.
“27 out of the 36 states couldn’t pay salaries. This is a disgrace to Nigeria. It is a disgrace. Up till now, most of the states cannot pay salaries. What happened to all we have gotten over the years? We look up and down, left, right and centre, what have we saved? There was nothing because we developed a consumption culture that we were not supposed to develop.“