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Nigeria loses $582b to corruption in 61 years, says YIAGA Africa

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YIAGA Programme Manager, Cynthia Mbamalu

‘N1.3tr laundered between 2011, 2015’
Human rights and civic engagement organisation, YIAGA Africa, yesterday, said Nigeria lost about $582 billion since independence due to endemic corruption.

YIAGA Programme Manager, Cynthia Mbamalu, who disclosed this in Abuja during the National Debate Competition on Anti-Corruption, noted also that about N1.3 trillion of public funds was laundered between 2011 and 2015 alone.

Mbamalu said the development was not surprising given the fact that the nation ranked 149th out of 179 countries on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index.

She explained that the debate was part of the Bounce Corruption Project launched by YIAGA Africa in 2017 to mobilise 20 million Nigerians in the fight against corruption and demand for accountability.

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She maintained that through the debates, the views of young Nigerians would be harnessed into the fight against corruption and propagation of integrity, transparency and accountability.

“Not only that, a December 2019 report by the National Bureau of Statistics on the patterns and trends of corruption in Nigeria revealed that young people are most likely to give or receive bribes, with at least 60 per cent admitting to having given bribes. These bribes are given for a variety of reasons, but most especially to obtain a government service, speed up a procedure or avoid paying a fine.

“When this data is placed side-by-side with the high rate of youth unemployment and underemployment which is 42 per cent and 21 per cent in a country which has millions of young people finishing their studies with no job prospects, it further increases the pressure on them to offer bribes in order to secure jobs,” Mbamalu said.

She noted: “As such, it has become important to engage young Nigerians on how to fight corruption and enshrine integrity, accountability and transparency into the fabric of our society, and in our public and private sectors. As the group that suffers most from the effects of corruption, young people can be instrumental in the fight against corruption in Nigeria, using peer influence to spread values of transparency and accountability.”

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