News Analysis

Collaborating To Strenghtening Anti-Corruption Drive

Corruption remains a global phenomenon with no racial boundaries.

More often than not, print and electronic media are awashed with cases of sleaze, monetary or in kind.

And there is hardly any sphere of activities or profession that corruption is not found.

Corruption wreaks enormous damage on good governance, disrupts systemic administration, compromises the integrity, lay ground for avoidable deaths and other forms of dire consequences in societies. 

Aside these, it undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development, contributes to governmental instability, distortion of electoral processes and perversion of the rule of law.

In cognizance of the monumental effects of corruption, the United Nations general assembly designated 9 December as international anti-corruption day and has been observed annually since the passage of the United Nations Convention against corruption on 31 October 2003 to raise public awareness for anti-corruption. 

In Nigeria, efforts to tackle corruption saw the creation of anti-corruption agencies such as the economic and financial crimes commission and the independent corrupt practices commission.

The current administration has followed this up with the formal institution of the whistleblower policy in December 2016 to check endemic corruption.

A major challenge in this regard is the justice system which political office holders and other big-time looters exploit to drag cases on for years.

Besides, there is also the political angle to it as politicians alleged of financial impropriety while in office often find safe haven in the party in power.

The immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution, which protects sitting governors against litigation until after their tenure is also a factor as it delays justice and gives room for cover-up over time.

Since greed, poverty and unemployment fuel corruption, it is important that the government build upon current poverty eradication derive, job creation.

Nobody is above the law, anyone who acts contrary to it should be given the punishment that he or she deserves.

Anti-corruption agencies, should ensure transparency in handling cases of graft and avoid controversies that had trailed some of their personnel in the past.

To win the war against corruption, religious bodies should stress the importance of moral rectitude to their members while parents inculcate desired social values in their children for the good of the society as a saying goes “charity begins at home”.

With this year’s theme being your right, your role, say no to corruption, it is therefore pertinent as a citizen to say no to corruption irrespective of position in order for the country to attain its rightful leadership role in the comity of nations.

Olukemi Akintunde

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