Saudi Arabia pledges to stamp out corruption

Senior official tells new anti-corruption unit chief that all doors open to fight 'disease'
Saudi Arabia pledges to stamp out corruption
Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Saudis second deputy prime minister and minister of interior. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 28 Mar 2011 07:31 PM

A senior Saudi Arabia minister on Monday said the kingdom would leave no stone unturned in its fight against corruption.

Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Saudi's second deputy prime minister and minister of interior, made the pledge as he met with the man put in charge of a new anti-corruption unit.

Prince Nayef told Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Sharif, chairman of the National Authority for Combating Corruption (NACC) - announced by King Abdullah last week: "The fight against corruption has wide meanings and implications such as fighting a disease. All doors should be open to you to perform your duties sincerely, faithfully and easily."

Prince Nayef said the NACC had been established as an "implantation of a national strategy to protect integrity and fight corruption in the country", state news agency SPA reported.

The direct link between the NACC and the Saudi King, it said, reflected the King's support and concern of ensuring that "no challenging obstacles would face the mission of this developmental institute".

King Abdullah announced the new commission for combatting corruption earlier this month, as part of a raft of measures including $93bn of handouts to citizens.

A series of decrees outlined a boost in welfare benefits, a minimum wage of SR3,000 ($800) for state employees, bonuses for public sector workers and students, and a drive to build new housing.

The numbers announced were large: SR250bn ($66.7bn) would be spent on 500,000 housing units and SR16bn ($4.3bn) on more medical facilities.

This followed a $37bn package announced last month in an initial move to ease social tensions.

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