Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun has said that public servants have no excuse for stealing public funds even if they are on low remuneration.
Disclosing this while inaugurating the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry Of Finance in Abuja, Adeosun said the theft of public funds would no longer be excused, now that the guidelines are being made clear.
“We are setting a benchmark; at the moment, there are no guidelines; and where there are no guidelines, there is no sin. So, we need to establish those guidelines to guide how people spend money,” she said.
“We cannot justify stealing and say because my salary is low so it justifies stealing. Not everybody steals and not everybody is willing to steal, and stealing is not a way to address low remuneration.
“Stealing is stealing and it is a crime; you cannot steal and say because my salary is low that was why I stole; what about people who have no salaries? Stealing is stealing and we must address it. It is not acceptable. We need to address it and we will do so very aggressively. There is no excuse for stealing.”
Adeosun said the introduction of the Efficiency Unit in the ministry was to checkmate the manner in which government money is being spent in this very challenging economic times.
“Our own initial reviews have found wide variations in the prices of basic items between departments and within agencies. Printer cartridges of the same specification ranged in price from N16,000 to N62,000″.she said
She said that the obvious differences in these items will no longer be tolerated in these economic hard times.
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