"If stealing from the national treasury is caused by poor salaries, then what should the unemployed do?"
In a speech directed at civil servants during the inauguration of the efficiency unit in Abuja on November 30, 2015, Kemi Adeosun, Minister of finance stated that bribe should never be justified or blamed on poor salaries.
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.
Read her statement below;
"We are going to look up all the causes that make government spending extremely inefficient and we are going to circulate those results to the agencies so that they will get a circular saying this is on paper and if you go above it, the Permanent Secretary or whoever is approving it needs to have a reason for doing so.
"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. 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.
“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 that the obvious differences in these items will no longer be tolerated in these economic hard times.