Tackling Corruption in Nigeria: 2 Things PMB Must Do Urgently

By Kunle Adewunmi

No one can eradicate corruption in its entirety because it’s borne out of greed, self centeredness which are the hallmarks of mankind and it’s fallout are: poverty and underdevelopment.

Within the limits of his capacities, President Mohammadu Buhari [PMB] has been fighting this terminal cancerous disease called corruption, but his government’ focus has been majorly on the political class who incidentally are merely students who learnt the acts of corruption from the establishment(the civil service).

Economic Corruption starts from Budget Padding or Loading which is possible with connivance of the group that prepares the budget (civil service), the scrutinizer of the budget (legislatures) and executor of the budget (civil service).

The first step towards curbing this cancer is therefore the adoption of a Zero Budgeting Approach.

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Nigeria is run on conspiracy, hence the difficulties in effectively curbing corruption and other social vices. Fight against corruption cannot be won once there’s conspiracy at all levels of the processes of detection, investigation, prosecution etc.

Another root cause of economic corruption in Nigeria is irresponsive and bad leadership. Virtually, all post independence governments have failed significantly in making life comfortable for the citizens whom they hold and manage the national resources in trust for.

Consequently, the working class citizens amass wealth illegally to provide the needed social amenities for themselves and unborn children and save and invest for retirement and old age.

There are two practical ways to curb corruption in Nigeria, which are:

  1. Responsive and Responsible leadership: Government should give Value for Taxes and Sale Proceeds of natural resources collected from and on behalf of the citizens through provision of social amenities, conducive business environment and other life lifting benefits for all classes of citizens.

  2. Deterrent Measure: If the National Assembly is considering death penalty for hate speeches then Corruption should equally attract death penalty and this should be so enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

Reducing incidences of economic corruption in the public sector of Nigeria will entail sincerity on the part of the National Government and its watchdog agencies in conducting intelligent and independent investigations into the income and assets of public officers (political and career civil servants) with a view to reconciling their legitimate earnings with assets held directly in their names and indirectly in their family members and proxies names.

All inexplicable income and assets should be confiscated and the culprits dealt with in accordance with relevant provisions of the amended constitution. Nigeria is a nation where a large percentage of its work force live above their legitimate means and boast of it openly.

*Above are personal viewpoints of Kunle Adewunmi, a Lagos based Chartered Accountant.

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