President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the level of corruption at personal and institutional levels his administration met was unbelievable.
He said the menace was gradually becoming a culture before he came in and people started realising the truth.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving the Letter of Credence of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. William Symington, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The corruption we met at personal and institutional levels was unbelievable. Corruption was turning into a culture. After we came in, people started realising the truth,” the President said.
The President said the target of reversing the “culture of corruption” in the country had received support from Nigerians, with many realising the depth of damage done by some previous administrations from the ongoing investigations and prosecutions.
He told the ambassador that his administration was still determined to continue investigations and prosecution of corrupt persons in the country, insisting that “Nigeria will either kill corruption or corruption will kill Nigeria in the long run.”
The President noted that the years of mishandling of the economy at a period of financial prosperity affected the economy.
This, he said, made it more challenging for the government to create employment for the youth and improve the livelihood of many Nigerians.
“It has not been easy for another party to come in and get things done properly, especially with the new economic reality of $37 per barrel of oil, against the $100 for the period, and there was no savings, no infrastructure on ground,” he said.
The President said his administration remained committed to realising the key priorities of securing the country, fighting corruption, and salvaging the economy in spite of current challenges.
He said the security situation in the North East had improved significantly following support in training of the military and supply of hardware after the G-7 meeting in Germany in 2015.