- “Real Madrid would be crazy to pay record fee for Bale” – Fabregas
- Galliani tells Allegri to promote Oduamadi to AC Milan’s first team after Tahiti hat-trick
- Governor Jang commends STF for rehabilitating 25 boreholes in crisis prone communities
- PDP crisis: Bamanga Tukur may be sacked on Thursday; Mu’azu, Babayo tipped as successors
- FG, Delta draw battle line on Ibori’s $15m bribe money; to argue suit July 5
- Maku charges Christians to lead campaign against violence; gives indication of 2015 guber ambition
- Opposition governors, PDP counterparts shun Jang NGF meeting
- Odemwingie set to leave West Brom this summer
- Keshi relieved after victory over Tahiti
- Oduamadi grabs hat-trick as Nigeria begins Confederations Cup with emphatic win over Tahiti
In search of an incorruptible Nigerian II
Corruption is a universal vice, Man is constantly seeking for means to live a satisfied present and secure his future and that of his progeny. The limit to which he can go to achieve this is constantly being put to check by religious and moral values as well as fear of punitive measures if the bound is crossed.
Though widespread impunity may explain the ingrained corruption in our society, our high moral and religious values cannot be reconciled with the menace.
That Nigeria will reach its Eldorado, if corruption is successfully tackled, is one of the few issues Nigerians have unanimously agreed to. From Abia to Zamfara, there is a consensus there is a need for change.
Several factors have been alluded to as responsible for the corrupt practices that have characterized our nation, expectedly several solutions have been proffered as well. Some measures have been implemented while others remained suggestions.
Though short of expectation, no doubt we have made some headway in the fight against corruption. We have moved from a period when corruption in government was a coverted secret to a period when corruption is openly discussed. Objectively, we have made snail-paced movement up the corruption perception index.
The focus of this write-up is to look into various suggestions as they relate to the Nigeria situation and the challenges to implementing them.
Incorporating anti corruption ethos into our pre-tertiary education curriculum has been advocated. This is aimed at saving the kids before they get caught in the web of corruption. Though a laudable suggestion, experts have explained that visual learning supersedes auditory learning. In a society that incorporate corruption into its everyday activity, teaching anti-corruption in the four walls of classroom can never yield the desired result.
Transparency in governance
Transparency of public officials in governance is a robust tool in checking corruption. A G8 declaration states that “….Transparency inhibits corruption and promotes good governance…” A government that wants to curb corruption must be seen to be transparent. Public officers must be accountable; at every opportunity they must show their willingness to fight corruption. Mr. President’s recent statement on his refusal to make his asset public as his principle is rather unfortunate, the reason he adduced was lame. If Mr. president refused to publicly declare his asset because some members of his cabinet might not be disposed to doing so, then his sincerity on fighting corruption is doubtful.
Independent anti-corruption agencies
The police in every society have the primary responsibility of curbing corruption. However it is a known fact that in countries with entrenched corrupt practices, the police are usually a den for corruption. Thus the need for an independent agency saddled with the responsibility. Nigeria established two of such agencies which leapfrogged Nigeria from its persistent 1 score in corruption perception index to the 2s. However the independence of these agencies has been questioned. They are seen as political bulldogs for politicians in fight oppositions. Again, there seems to be a dearth of incorruptible personnel to man these agencies as there have been claims of corruption within the agencies which is robbing them of public confidence.
Prof Basu’s theory of legalizing bribe giving
Kaushik Basu is a leading economist, a former BBC columnist and India`s chief economic adviser.
Last year he made a controversial proposal, he asked that bribe giving should be legalized as it will encourage whistle-blowing. He added a caveat that this will work for “harassment bribes”. The Farouk-Otedola case readily comes to mind.
Legalizing bribe giving will be playing into the hands of corrupt officers, giving them on a platter of gold, a blackmail tool to bargain in their corrupt deals. The probability that a bribe giver will blow the whistle is extremely slim; on the rare occasions when they do it is likely due to a failed deal and not honesty.
Since the 1979 uprising of the AFRC(Armed Forces Revolutionary Council)led by J J Rawlings in which Ignatius Acheamphong, Joy Amedume, Yaw Boakye, Roger Felli, Kptei and Utuka were brought down, a process believed to have led Ghana’s transformation, many have called for similar measure in Nigeria. Nigerians want their own “house-cleaning exercise”.
Nigeria has had chances at house-cleaning, most coup d’état in Nigeria’s history had corruption in government as a reason for takeover; unfortunately the resulting government usually end up being more corrupt than it predecessor.
In a democratic setting, with a population of corrupt officers probably more than the population of Ghana, spread over 920 000kmsquare the feasibility of Nigeria’s House cleaning at present is probably a utopia.
Closely related to the Rawling’s style is an outright revolution, rather than wait for a group of citizen to do it, the masses bring down the government themselves. Taking a clue from the Arab Spring, the call for revolution in Nigeria is growing louder than ever; hardly will any discussion on Nigeria problem complete without a mention of it. No doubt the Nigerian situation requires a radical change before it nosedive, however the proponent of revolution must be cautious, what is the target of revolution? Are we revolting against FG or SG and LG inclusive (who are probably as corrupt as FG, if not more) How do we ensure the beneficiaries of the revolution aren’t equally corrupt? Are Nigerians ready for revolution? The Egypt experience seems a success so far, can same play out a multi-ethnic\religion society like ours?
Capital punishment for indicted corrupt officers
This is aimed at serving as deterrent to serving public officer. On the surface, it seems a plausible measure; a critical look will show the deficiency inherent. The Chinese experience is a ready example. In the last 3 decades over 2500(probably more) have been shot in the head for corruption charges and pictures made public, yet corruption remains a big issue in china. Rather than deter them, corrupt officers perfect strategies to avoid being caught. Of recent there have been calls to remove corruption from the list of crimes punishable by death, reason being that corrupt officers who flee abroad are not repatriated by countries against capital punishment. In other words, they loot China and get asylum in western countries.
Polling Booth Revolution
This is about using the existing structure to bring about the changes we desire. It is about voting in a new crop of leaders that can lead us out of the menace of corruption. It is bringing in the “Rawlings” through votes rather than coup. It involves a gradual and steady re-orientation of the populace to look beyond momentary gratification of 1500, indomie, T shirts etc during elections. It is time to tell the masses not to look through the prism of ethnicity and religion but that of competence and programs. The revolutionary process requires you and me to start now, if we must yield our desired result in 2015.
Lawal Qudus Olajide
Medical Practitioner and Public affairs analyst
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