Intensifying the fight against corruption and impunity

CURRUPTION FIGHT
CURRUPTION FIGHT

Through an array of visible evidence, public service delivery in Nigeria in the past three decades has been characterized by greed, malfeasance and declining integrity resulting in negative consequences to the nation’s economy.

Nigerians have continued to decry the pervasive nature of corruption and other social vices resulting in assassinations, armed robbery, drug trafficking, kidnapping, bribery and cultism, all carried out with impunity in the state. Reactions has continued to run wild in the past few years with the impunity of dreadful proportions. It has indeed done a collateral damage to the nation’s economy.

It is against that unchecked trend that President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting with the thirty six state governors vividly displayed his anger and emphasized that the days of impunity, lack of accountability and fiscal recklessness in the management of the nation’s resources are over.

Indeed, President Buharis’s vow plunge systematic leakages in the nation’s treasury is timely given the excessive profligacy and recklessness of his predecessors. There is no doubt the current administration is armed with well documented records of financial scandals and the will to act strictly.

These are those corporations and individuals that perpetuated the 2.5 trillion naira petrol subsidy fraud of 2011 in which details can be found in several reports including a parliamentary probe and audit reports, the power sector probe of 2008 which revealed the funds misappropriated and the firms and individuals who collected funds but failed to build power plants.

Other national corruption issues of a collateral damage to the nation’s economy include the pension fund scam of which ran into multiple billions of naira, the crude oil swop scandal that the Nigeria extractive industry and transparency initiative said cost 8billion naira between 2009 and 2011, the 20billion naira fraud of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the import waiver scandal that has resulted in over 1trillion naira lost revenues between 2005 and 2014.

There is no doubt that these fraudulent acts were allegedly committed in the bare face of the anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC); there is therefore an urgent need to re-invigorate these agencies with the change philosophy of the current administration. In other words, they must be imbibed with a radical vision and result oriented mission.

It is interesting to observe that under the imperatives of the philosophy of change, the Buhari administration is the tool of enthroning financial transparency and accountability in the nation’s system of governance. This follows President Buhari’s directive that all revenues earned by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should henceforth be remitted to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation as well as the total implementation of the treasury single account (TSA).

Undoubtedly, with the enforcement of such presidential directive; it will definitely ease the government’s current cash crunch. This will also deter the impunity of MDAs who are known for withholding whooping amount of money every year as a deliberate result of unspent items in the budget.

It has been asserted that after the United States of America, Nigeria comes second in human and natural resources in the world. Therefore, there is no fundamental reason why a country of such stupendous wealth will continue to experience the worsening human degradation through unremorseful culture of primitive exploitation and accumulation of the country’s by unscrupulous Nigerians and their foreign collaborators. Such an ugly trend must be stopped by the Buhari’s administration whose avowed philosophy of governance is positive change.

Indeed, the present administration has demonstrated commitment to salvage the country corruption. Nigerians should therefore give President Buhari’s lead federal government the necessary support to achieve success in the fight against corruption.

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