Aidoghie Paulinus, Addis Ababa
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has proferred solution to ending corruption by multinational corporations operating in Africa.
Owasanoye spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the high level event on corruption and illicit exploitation of Africa’s natural resources on the sidelines of the 32nd ordinary session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
Owasanoye said there were different ways in which trade practices negatively affect the fight against corruption. He said many of the multinational corporations who operate in Africa, were quite economically more solid than many African States, adding that sometimes, their budget far outweighed the country in which they are operating.
He noted that the multinational corporations have international leverage and political connections, saying that it is very easy for them to influence policy, laws or frustrate the operations of the policies and laws, using lobbies, opinion writers, campaigns, among others.
Owasanoye however said it is only through firmness on regulatory measures and law enforcement that Africa can end corruption by multinational corporations on the continent.
“For example, when African countries begin to be firm on their regulatory measures and their own law enforcement, these operators, who want to maintain the status quo of incompetence and corruption, they will begin to raise scare stories like oh, foreign investment will go, the country is losing foreign investment, there is instability.
“But the reality is that they do not want laws and policies to be enforced. So, African countries really need to see through some of these operations,” Owasanoye said.