By Henry Uche
Following the current socio-economic challenges staring Nigerians in the face, the Director, Action Aid, Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi has put forward that among other things, Honest leadership, a fearless judiciarl system and a re-oriented public service, could bring Nigeria out of the woods.
The Action Aid Director noted that there must be a synergy and unity of purpose among the leadership of the three Tiers of government, to extricate Nigeria from the shackles of economic quagmire. She said, “We need right actions to get the right results but above all, the country needs committed leadership, a re-oriented public service, a vibrant judiciary and an organised and vocal civil society.
“There must be a synergy amongst these structures of the state. The need for collaboration requires that institutions, departments, groups, and individuals whose activities border on fight against corruption must work hand in glove,”
Acccording to her, Money laundering, embezzlement of Public funds, Bribery & extortion and other unethical acts by some persons, particularly Politicallt exposed persons are reasons for Nigeria’s current economic retardation.
“Looting, Illegal arms deal, Smuggling, Illegal oil bunkering, illegal mining, Tax evasion, foreign exchange malpractices including counterfeiting to currency,
theft of intellectual property & piracy, Open market abuse and Cyber frauds have set our country at edge. So we need honest leadership and a concerted effort and synergy among all tiers of government to deliver Nigeria from economic morass.
Obi called for Bilateral/multilateral cooperation to repatriate looted funds, Citizens’ engagements (as whistleblowers & watchdogs) through mass mobilisation & awareness creation, Media engagement, open governance initiatives & Transparency and deployment of ICT as a viable tool for citizens’ participation in anti-corruption efforts.
“We need strong political will to checkmate, control and eliminate corruption as well moral regeneration. This involves value re-orientation which de-emphasize excessive focus on money. We also need to strengthen the police & other anti-corruption agencies in the war against corruption, which should include training and retraining of management and staff officers in fraud and other financial crimes investigation and forensic accounting, adequate remuneration and motivation,” she asseverated.
She added that prosecution of erring persons or group involved in any corrupt practice and if found culpable should be punished accordingly, and any assets and property acquired illegally must be forfeited, more so, if deemed expedient by the court, anybody convicted must be also be given a severe imprisonment no matter who is involved.