By Adewale Sanyaolu
As the world marks the International Anti-Corruption Day today, the National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, Panama Deck, Ikeja, Lagos has called for stronger institutions to help tackle the menace of corruption across all facets of our national lives.
In the report, Nigeria scored 24/100 in 2021 and has witnessed Year-on-Year decline in CPI for 3 consecutive years (2018 – 27, 2019 – 26, 2020 – 25 and 2021-24). This, according to the group, suggests a sustained degradation in Nigeria’s corruption perception ranking. Globally, the country ranks 154/180, reflecting a drop from the 149/180 ranking in 2020. The group further highlighted that corruption has been known to be responsible for the slow growth rate of Nigeria’s economy, while several reasons have been attributed to its prevalence in the country. Some of the reasons include a lack of openness and transparency in public offices, weakness or absence of anti-corruption tools/mechanisms, greed,poor pay incentives or low wages, weak government institutions and ineffective political processes.
Other calls canvassed by the Pyrates Confraternity to deepen the fight against corruption include the establishment of special courts for speedy and efficient trial of corruption cases; mandatory introduction of Civic Studies, with special emphasis on corruption, into our school curriculum up to WAEC level; witness protection programs, to protect whistleblowers and informants as well as an efficient deployment of information technology in the fight against corruption.
For the Pyrates Confraternity, the fight against corruption is not only imperative, but also essential to the survival of Nigerians and must be given a stronger bite, through stiffer penalty.