Tuesday, August 11, 2015

President Muhammadu Buhari appoints anti-corruption advisers

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a committee to advise him on how best to tackle corruption and reform the legal system.

The seven-member Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption is mostly made up of academics.

Mr Buhari was elected in May, largely on a promise to tackle corruption.

He has said he believes government officials have stolen about $150bn (£96bn) from the public purse over the past decade.

"The committee's brief is to advise the present administration on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria's criminal justice system," said presidential spokesman Femi Adesina.

However, Mr Adesina was unable to say when the committee would report back to the president with its recommendations.

The BBC's Will Ross in Lagos says corruption is a massive drain on Nigeria's public finances and President Buhari's anti-corruption stance was a key factor in his election victory.

The difficult part will be ending a crooked culture deeply engrained in many government departments, our correspondent adds.

In a meeting with US President Barack Obama last month, President Buhari appealed for help in finding and returning government money he said had been stolen and was being held in foreign bank accounts.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Buhari criticised the way large loans had been diverted from the government projects for which they were intended.


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