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Author Topic: Nigeria & Corruption  (Read 707 times)

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Nigeria & Corruption
« on: Sep 24, 2013 »
Dear All,

Here is one on corruption. While everyone else goes to work, Nigerians go to God!


 Jonathan’s lamentation on
 corruptionSEPTEMBER 24,

President Goodluck Jonathan in an apparent bid to fend off
some of the frequent criticisms aimed at him over his
administration’s seemingly tolerant disposition towards
 corruption, President Goodluck Jonathan recently tried to
 turn the tables against Nigerians, blaming them for the
 failure of the anti-graft war.

  Launching his offensive at the 54th Annual Conference of
 the Nigerian Economic Society in Abuja last week, the
 President said that corruption had continued to thrive in
 the country mainly because his fellow citizens tended to
 “reward corrupt practices.”From the President’s
 perspective, Nigerians had lost touch with their traditional
 values of honesty and hard work, which used to be the
 foundation for wealth acquisition. “(If) a young man who
 just started a job and, within six months or a year, comes
 up with a car of N7 million to N15 million and you clap for
 him, then you are rewarding corruption,” he argued, as he
 tried to persuade Nigerians to share his views. There is no
 doubt that the President was spot-on in his observations,
 but dead wrong in reinforcing the blame culture.Certainly, the orgy of recklessness and greed in the country is quite troubling. Nigerians now worship money and the society no longer asks questions regarding a person’s source of wealth. Even in glaring
cases of public office holders corruptly enriching themselves, once they manage to escape into the warm embrace of their kith and kin, they can be sure of maximum support and protection. A very good example of this was the case of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, whose arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission officials was stoutly resisted by gun-totting young men at Oghara, his home town, shortly before his escape from the country and eventual arrest abroad.Not willing to be outdone by the youths, elderly women also came out, bare-chested, to protest the alleged witch-hunt of their son. The same
 “innocent” son of Oghara is now serving a 13-year prison
 term in the United Kingdom over the same
 corrupt offences for which his people attempted to shield
 him from arrest.  The same thing also happened when a senior civil servant, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was accused of misappropriating public pension funds, was asked to come and explain his role at the Senate. Not only did he refuse to appear before the lawmakers, group after group came out to stage protests, warning the security agencies against laying a finger on thesuspect.

 Also following in the same pattern, a former
 governor of Bayelsa State, Diepriye Alamieyeseigha, who
 jumped bail after his arrest in the United Kingdom for
 alleged money laundering and returned to Nigeria, allegedly
 dressed like a woman, was warmly celebrated at home for his
 great escape. These reflect the extent to which Nigerians
 are willing to go to “reward corrupt practices.”But corruption has
 brought about untold hardship to many Nigerians and is
 believed to be responsible for the country’s
 underdevelopment. The chair of Transparency International,
 the global civil society organisation that fights
 corruption, Higuette Labelle, says “corruption remains an
 enormous drain on resources.” In many cases, resources
 allocated to education, health, transport, sports and other
 critical areas are misapplied or stolen outright, leading to
 a fall in the general quality of life. Corruption in Nigeria
 is described by Global Campaign Against Corruption, a rights
 group, as “a wall-to-wall phenomenon, blanketing and
 smouldering every aspect of the country’s socio-economic
 life.” It is believed that over $400 billion of the
 country’s resources have been lost to corruption in the
 past 40 years. The President’s statement, therefore,
 sounds so appealing to a public seething at the arrogant
 flaunting of ill-gotten wealth.Having made his point, however,
 it would be wrong for Jonathan to think that Nigerians are
 satisfied with that simplistic explanation for the pervasive
 nature of corruption in the country. It would amount to
 passing the buck for the President to come up with such an
 excuse and think he would be applauded. If his observation
 is that Nigerians are wallowing in corruption, what has he
 done about it? Why is he the President?The President’s stinging
 remarks provide a sobering insight into his leadership
 style. For leadership to be credible, a report, The Fight
 Against Corruption: A World Bank Perspective, says, it must
 transcend mere pronouncements or ethical exhortations to
 combat the evils of corruption. It needs to be backed by
 concrete, monitorable and time-bound actions, to which the
 country’s leadership is held accountable.For a leader that desires the best for his people, what is required of Jonathan now is not
 lamentation, but to reposition anti-graft agencies in the
 country to rein in the scourge. What Nigerians need to fall
 in line is a conviction that the leadership is not
 accommodating towards corruption. Jonathan can set this
 example by publicly declaring his assets. He should also
 ensure that those accused of corrupt practices are not only
 put on trial, but that their trial is expeditiously done.
 Curiously, close to two years after the fuel subsidy scam
 came to light, nobody has been conclusively tried and
 punished. It is actions such as this that encourage
 corruption. But, in the fight against corruption, leadership
 has to be by example, not by precept.

Knowledge Is Power – Seek For It


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