Owing to the dangers of corruption militating against due process in the public sector, the Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Barr Eze Onyekpere has stated that Nigeria will only make headway in the fight against corruption when President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Judiciary lead the campaign.
Onyekpere made the assertion during a special radio town hall meeting against corruption, organized by Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, with the support of MacArthur Foundation Friday in Abuja.
Onyekpere identified lack of political will by leadership at the highest level of governance as one of the reasons problems of due process public procurement and budgeting cannot be tackled, adding that capacity deficit and lack of foundational integrity was undermining public service delivery in the country.
“Federal government has to BE lead by example, from the President to the vice president, the Senate President, the speaker to the Chief Justice of the Federation, once these people at this level want to decide that Nigeria must not progress, Nigeria will not progress, because it is in their hands.
“And Nigerians have gone beyond the stage where they will do what the leader says and not what the leader is doing itself.”
Onyekpere stressed that Nigeria’s latest slide into recession, high rate of Unemployment, over-bloated government expenditures, poverty, illiteracy and poor service delivery were all the consequences of corruption and non-adherence to due process in the public sector.
He, however, called on Nigerians to look out for men and women of integrity to take over the leadership of the country come 2023.
Similarly, a Chartered Accountant & Tax Consultant, Taslim Anibaba who also joined the call for the federal government to lead the fight against corruption, insisted that political leaders must set good standards for citizens to follow.
Anibaba appealed to President Buhari to appoint people of integrity into public offices, as well as charged him to set up programmes and structures that will help in educating citizens on the war against corruption.
On her part, a Programs Officer at BudgIT, Chinwe Ujubuonu noted that corruption was negatively impacting on the reputation of Nigeria in the committees of nations. She, also revealed that Nigeria is losing so much money as a result of the reign of corruption in the public sector.
Her words: “there’s direct costs in terms of monetary value, in 2019, Ibrahim Magu was saying that about $3.6 billion has been lost to money laundering. That should give you about N1.3 trillion and then I don’t know if you heard about the N2.6 7 billion schools feeding money that was embezzled. We heard that it found its way into people’s personal pockets,” Ujubuonu disclosed.
Earlier, celebrated 2017 integrity icon, Tubokenimi David blamed poor parenting for majority of the integrity issues that exists in the Nigerian society and public service. She called on citizens to be contented with what they have, while urging parents to inculcate good characters into their wards from the cradle.
Towing the same line, a representative of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Prince Chimaraoke Chukwuka said that it is incumbent on every Nigerian to promote integrity within the workplace and in their personal sphere of influence if they must have the kind of nation they desired.
The PRIMORG’s Town Hall Meeting Against Corruption series is aimed at calling the public and government attention to specific issues of corruption in Nigeria