Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State says every politician has to steal to survive because salaries aren't enough.
Okorocha belongs to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC)—a political party that often parrots stamping out corruption in public office, as a cardinal objective.
The APC is also led by President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military general who has vowed to kill corruption before it kills Nigeria.
However, in an interview with ChannelsTV, Okorocha appeared to suggest that keeping politically exposed persons from dipping their hands in the public till, will amount to an exercise in futility.
Okorocha also said everyone in Nigeria is corrupt to a certain degree.
“There’s no man on earth in Nigeria, from A-Z who will say he lives with the money you pay him monthly. The salaries of governors are N750,000 a month.
"So, if you don’t have a second office or something else to do, you must steal. Any political office holder who doesn’t have a second office, must steal”, Okorocha said.
The governor added that what is more important is making sure governors and political office holders deliver on the job like he’s doing in Imo, Southeast Nigeria.
“But if you give target, excuse me, you then perform your work and people see the way you have done it and it’s correct, they are fine.
“In Imo State, people are happy with the performance. They are happy. Their children are going to school without school fees, they are happy.”
In February, a Transparency International report portrayed Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries on the planet.
In the TI corruption perception index, Nigeria ranked 148 out of 180 countries surveyed across the world.
Nigeria’s new position on the corruption rankings meant it has slipped 12 place from its 136th ranking of 2016.
The ranking also meant Nigeria is currently the 32nd most corrupt nation in Africa.