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FG WILL RESTRUCTURE ANTI-GRAFT AGENCIES — JONATHAN

By NBF NEWS
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Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan
Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has informed the United States Government that Nigeria's anti-corruption agencies, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, are being strengthened to enhance probity and accountability in governance.

The Acting President in the same vein reaffirmed Federal Government's commitment to carry out reforms and check corruption in the country.

A statement from the Office of the Acting President said Jonathan spoke on Saturday night when he received the US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Mr. William Burns, at his official residence the Akinola Aguda House, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan also informed the US government official that the planned reforms, which were in phases, would cut across vital areas of national life.

He pointed out that the on-going electoral reform 'will produce credible elections as one of its ingredients is to count the votes and declare results at the polling booths.'

He added that the Federal Government was fully committed to the recently established Nigeria-US Bi-National Commission, saying that committees had been set up to get it started.

Expressing optimism that the flash points in the country and the Niger Delta crisis were under control, Jonathan said the Federal Government was making effort to create employment opportunities for the unemployed youths who were easily lured into criminal activities.

He said, 'One of the ways in which we want to arrest youth restiveness is to create jobs especially in the agricultural sector; if the youths are engaged meaningfully, the crime rate will drastically reduce.'

Commenting on the various crises in African countries, Jonathan decried the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, noting that the development was a major contributor to crisis in Africa.

He noted that drug peddlers, pirates and other criminals use illicit arms to carry out their activities.

Jonathan also noted that other problems being faced in the continent include those posed by poor communication facilities, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and intractable maternal health problems.

In his remarks, Burns said he came to the country 'to convey the best regards of President Barrack Obama to Jonathan and appreciation for the constructive role and positive contributions that Nigeria made during the recently concluded nuclear summit in Washington.'