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‘Corruption still raging despite government’s efforts’

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Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

While the Federal Government is looking more resolute in its ongoing anti-graft war, considering the recent convictions of two former governors, Jolly Nyame of Taraba State and Joshua Dariye of Plateau State over charges of corruption against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), some prominent Nigerians are still of the view that the government needed to expand the fight, if it hopes to win.

In an engagement with The Guardian yesterday, an oil magnate and author of ‘Reversing the Rot in Nigeria’, Olusegun Oyegbami and prominent scholars of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) noted that there is the need for the government to fight corruption by entrenching a transparency law.

While ISGP recommended that the current system of unconditional federal revenue distribution be reviewed and restructured in favor of fiscal federalism and also recommended that policy measures be put in place to effectively depoliticize, deepen and strengthen the bodies like ICPC and the EFCC, among other anti-corruption agencies, Oyegbami said there must be concise and determined efforts by the government to encourage employment and to also spread its productivity level, if corruption must reduce in the country.

In a communiqué issued after its second seminar series held in Ibadan, ISGP said the quest for reforming the efforts at tackling corruption in Nigeria must involve expanding and entrenching current transparency laws.

The group also harped on the need to promote participatory constitutionalism as opposed to imposed constitutionalism and curbing presidential and gubernatorial discretionary powers, among other powers of political executives.

The scholars include Professor, Rotimi Suberu of the Department of Political Science, Bennington College, Vermont, USA; Prof Ayo Olukotun, Professorial Chair in Governance, Department of Political Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State; Prof Akin Mabogunje, chairman ISGPP and Executive vice chairman, Dr Tunji Olaopa.

ISGP named some of the factors militating against anti-graft war in the country to include elements of political economy, political culture, political leadership and political institution that interact in a complex way to propel and compounds the endemic political corruption, saying that these drivers of corruption; political institutions are the most decisive and most amenable to formal constitutional reform, yet are often neglected in scholarly and policy discussions regarding anti-corruption reform in the country.

The group also said at the national and sub national levels, there exists evidence of corruptive effects of the constitutional institutions and processes such as: quasi monarchical or imperial powers of political chief executives; weak political insulation for key oversight agencies; a patronage based fiscal federalism; and a non participatory and non-integrative constitution making process.”

It therefore recommended as solution he need for conscious efforts to promoting participatory constitutionalism as opposed to impose constitutionalism and the need to curbing presidential and gubernatorial discretionary powers, among other powers of political executives.

Meanwhile’ referring to chapter 10 in his book titled: “The Siamese Twins of Corruption and Organised Religion’, Oyegbami said corruption and injustice reign, in direct contrast to the admonishing words of the nation’s national anthem, which he described as a crying shame.

He said corruption destroys and is also the bane of material development and progress in any human society.

The author lamented that the corruption being foisted on Nigeria by religion, which provides a major backbone or sinew for Nigeria’s rapacious politics, is the major threat to our survival as a nation.


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