BusinessDay

Osinbajo, Sagay, Fadeyi, bemoan scourge of corruption in Nigeria

...As Fadeyi Foundation rolls out free anti-graft reporting app

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has lamented that corruption remains a major scourge ravaging Nigeria even as he reiterated the resolve of the present administration towards fighting the menace in various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Osinbajo, gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday at the launch of ‘FLAG ‘IT application initiated by Akin Fadeyi Foundation in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation, even as he stressed the need for partnership between States and society in achieving the feat.

Represented by Fatima Waziri, Senior Special Assistant on Rule of Law, the Vice President expressed hope saying “We can only win by working with a common vision. Most importantly, the FLAG’IT app aligns with the government’s commitment to fighting corruption because it keys into the national anti-corruption strategy.

“The national anti-corruption strategy prioritises public recognition of organisations and individuals who act against corruption and identifies the need for an independent public feedback mechanism which we can use to give feedback about government, private sector, civil society organisations and individuals and this is where the FLAG’IT app comes in to fill in that gap.

“Now to provide a little bit of context; the 2019 Global Corruption Barometer on African citizens’ views and experiences of corruption highlights that while most of the people surveyed in 35 countries felt that corruption had increased in their country, a majority equally felt that they as citizens could make a difference in the fight against corruption. Only few countries in the world can claim to have low levels of corruption and none of these countries are in Africa.

“There is a consensus that corruption and illicit financial flows out of Africa relentlessly delay the attainment of the development goals, worsens practically all Human Development Indices and trap the majority of her people especially the most vulnerable in a trap of misery and poverty. It doesn’t matter how much revenue a country generates or how transformed it is or progressive its plans are.

“Corruption will ensure that the majority of the people do not benefit from whatever gains are made which is why despite the highest oil revenues in our history, debt doubled and poverty figures rose; which is why a major pillar of this administration’s social economic agenda is the fight against corruption.”

He however, expressed optimism that the establishment of two super-hub technology innovation hubs in Lagos and Abuja and across six geopolitical zones of the country in partnership with several major technology companies will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools.

Speaking earlier, Akin Fadeyi, Executive Director of Akin Fadeyi Foundation reiterated commitment towards ensuring that “Nigeria becomes a country where every citizen live fulfilling lives and are able to utilize their human and social capital to the full extent.

“We believe that at the heart of what define Nigeria as a great nation are its talented and resilient people, beautiful and united in their diversities,” Fadeyi who was represented by Simon Kolawole, chairman Akin Fadeyi Foundation said.

Contributing chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against corruption (PACAC) Itse Sagay, who spoke on ‘Fight against corruption: a collective responsibility’, called for synergy between the people, civil society organizations and government in the war against corrupt people whom.

He bemoaned that the political economy continues to produce overnight billionaires and reactionary leaders by the day.

“Corruption is a formidable enemy of progress and in reality, it can be said to have much of its roots in the society because virtually nothing moves in our society without one form of corruption or the other, ranging from petty to grand corruption – looting of natural resources like petroleum products, bunkering, etc; judicial corruption; all types of anti-people and retrogressive policies, destruction and looting of public assets and systems such as health, education, and others.

“Because of corruption, people are compelled to pay for services that should be free, or pay extra for services that already have a cost. Corruption hurts economies, people, and governments; hence, there is the need to involve everybody in the fight against all forms of corruption in our society.

“Incidentally, there cannot be a better time to join in the fight against corruption than now when the political economy continues to produce overnight billionaires and reactionary leaders by the day,” he said.

On the effects of corruption, Sagay observed that: “When some members of the political, public service or business elite loot our collective assets, the immediate consequence is massive unemployment, unequipped clinics and hospitals, wretched schools, colleges and universities without facilities, bad roads, lack of electric power and so on.

 

 Innocent Odoh, Abuja

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