President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the international community that his administration was determined to build a stable and prosperous nation.
He gave the assurance in his speech at the reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja.
“We are resolved to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria, a country that is inclusive of all her diverse peoples and a country that is at ease with itself.
“Building such a country will not be possible where corruption is pervasive.
“Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption. So long as corruption holds center stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm,” he said.
The president said the diplomats were witnesses to the preliminary findings that emerged in the past few weeks from the administration’s investigations into corrupt practices in different sectors of Nigeria’s Public Service.
He said he would leave no stone un-turned in the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption.
“I must however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law.”
He recalled that in a similar fight in the past, and armed with the might of military muscle, he had led a government that required persons presumed to be corrupt to prove their innocence.
He, however, noted that now as committed democrats, and in a culture of deepening democracy, “we respect the law that presumes all persons innocent until they are proven to be guilty”.
Buhari said that Nigeria had no choice, nor could the country afford to be an island in itself, thus it had partnered its neighbours and beyond in its developmental initiatives.
He said that his administration was pursuing the foreign policy vision anchored on meaningful engagement with Nigeria’s neighbours, the African continent and the world at large.
“We would continue to build strong partnerships, strengthen regional ties and promote global solidarity.
“Nigeria will remain a responsible and active member of the international community; promoting tolerance, accommodation, reconciliation and pacific settlement of disputes.
“We will also continue to shoulder responsibilities in peace keeping under the auspices of the United Nations.”
He said that the nation had benefited from the dividends of democracy, enjoyed an unprecedented period of civil rule, reached a milestone in its last election.
According to him, the election ushered not only a new government to office, but also witnessed the peaceful transfer of power from a ruling party to an opposition party.
“Without a doubt, Nigeria’s democracy is growing and gaining in strength.
“We are also convinced that there is no alternative to democratic governance, adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and adherence to constitutional order.
“Upholding these values remains the essential for peace, stability and development.
He said his administration owed it as a duty not to hand down to the next generation a world that is deeply divided and threatened by nature.
He added that the country remained faithful to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
He said the country was open for business and would welcome those ready to invest in Nigeria while assuring them of the protection of lives and their investments.
“We will take the necessary steps to overcome new and old challenges, enhance our national unity, internal cohesion and ultimately, give our country the image that will be a pride to our people, our friends in Africa and beyond.
He said that eight months into his administration and with the support of the international community, it had waged a successful war against insurgency.
Buhari said that while efforts were on to rehabilitate those displaced by terrorism, the administration was committed to providing jobs and other means to make live of the citizenry better.