We must use technology to fight corruption – Okonjo-Iweala

By Post Nigeria February 18, 2015 13:28

We must use technology to fight corruption – Okonjo-Iweala

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that corruption can be curbed if appropriate systems and institutions are put in place to checkmate the act.

She made this statement on Tuesday while speaking at the annual public lecture organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, in Abuja with the theme, “Blocking Leakages amid Dwindling Oil Income.”

She said, “This thing has been with us and we must crack it. This is not something that started in this country today, but it is something that we must crack.

“Fundamentally, we have to ask ourselves: Why has this continued to be a problem? I am convinced that it is because we constantly look at the symptoms and not the cause of the disease.

“The cause of the disease is, we don’t have in place the institutions, the systems and the processes to block and prevent it in the first place.

‘’That’s the only difference between us and the people abroad.”

Okonjo-Iweala urged youths in the country to ask relevant questions that would help tackle corruption in the country.

“This is so important now because of technology and I am a total fan of the use of technology and electronic platforms to block the leakages in this country,” she said.

“We must use them the way they are being used in other countries.”

Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that mechanisms have been put in place to reduce physical movement of cash and to fish out ghost workers.

“We have been able to weed out about 62,893 ghost workers till date, saving N208.7 billion and we have not finished in the system. That is addressing the root cause.”

She added that through the electronic wallet system introduced by the ministry of agriculture, government had been able to reduce corruption in fertilizer distribution in the country adding that 10.5 million workers have so far registered.