Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Weekend Arena .Nigeria Needs To Stop This Fight Against Corruption…

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Friday, September 11, 2020

Weekend Arena .Nigeria Needs To Stop This Fight Against Corruption…

Last week, I was at Awka, Anambra State to participate in a media summit, hosted by an NGO, Association of Digital Media Core Advocates, ADMCA, a group of media practitioners, across platforms and formats, committed to using modern tools of mass communication to foster enduring social change. 







Since its inauguration in 2018, the group has endeavoured to engender these ideals via seminars, lectures, and awards. As usual, ADMCA picked an auspicious theme: ‘Role of the Media in Tackling Corruption’, and also assembled an impressive list of discussants drawn from the media, civil society organisations, government, law enforcement agencies and the academia.



It afforded everyone present the opportunity to share his or her perspective on corruption, which has been identified as the crux of Nigeria’s problem in her sluggish journey to real nationhood. Startling revelations were made about the volume of resources Nigeria has lost to corruption; and that was blamed for the lack of infrastructures, insecurity and unemployment bedeviling the nation. 


The national president of the group, Harris Chuma Odili, had revealed in his paper that a conservative estimate, according to a report by the Human Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, puts the financial loss since Independence at $600bn! Weighing this against Nigeria’s annual budget today, which stands roughly at $30bn, it means Nigeria has lost revenue accruals of 20 years to corruption. That the nation is still standing after this enormous bleeding portends an act of miracle.


While a coin has two flip sides, there seems to be many more sides to corruption in the country. In reality, many people look at corruption only from the prism of funds diverted by government officials, but it is far deeper than this. While corruption may have stamped its feet before the country even gained Independence, it has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.


 Pre-Independence corruption happened with finesse, and there were often consequences for such actions when identified. But today’s, happens wantonly, so much that Nigerians see it as the only reason why anyone would want to venture into politics…a reason people host Thanksgiving Services when friends or relatives get appointed or elected into offices. The disheartening part is that the media, statutorily disposed to tackling this in Nigeria, has been whittled by economic considerations. This came to the fore at this forum, as a lot of journalists present complained about the difficulty in playing this role at the risk of a bigger monster-hunger!


While this holds true, considering that some media organizations owe their journalists salaries running into years, the Nigerian journalist must begin to see himself as someone on a call to service, whose efforts are driven by sheer passion to bring about positive change in the society. Who will have the courage to uphold this value, when worms are beating drums in his stomach? Very few indeed, and such rare breeds should be singled out for recognition and honour like the ADMCA has been doing.



But it is not the duty of only the media to fight corruption, after all, it is part and parcel of the larger society called Nigeria, which by adaptive mechanism has bred its law enforcement agents, its pastors and Imams, its students and lecturers, its businessmen and women, its leaders and followers, all mired in one form of corruption or another. Everyone should get it into his skull that wealth acquired corruptly does not make the beneficiary the smartest in the society.



 It is just an opportunity thrown up by a skewed system. This has only been helped by the verbose English words used in describing such ill acts, which probably have no direct translation in our local Nigerian languages. That term…money laundering, which is often used to describe how funds get lost in the system, can hardly evoke the same impression as a word like ‘thief’ in our local languages. Perhaps, that is what coats such misdemeanours with the ‘scent of glory’.


Indeed Nigeria may be fighting corruption, but in reality, this battle that has not deterred people from indulging in such acts connotes failure; and since it has failed, the best thing to do would be to change tactics. May be the Nigerian government, should stop fighting corruption with its laws that are riddled with lacunae, and begin to fight the propensity amongst citizens to commit corruption. Everyone can sense the avariciousness in looting public funds in Nigeria, where certain people fraudulently acquire funds for their unborn generations. Such acts can only be contemplated in a society where the welfare of citizens living genuinely cannot be guaranteed. 



If the public servant is sure that his pension and gratuity would come after his retirement, the urge to build that ‘false wall’ may not be there. For many Nigerians, this has become an instinctive habit that fuels the urge to keep as many properties and funds as possible for future generations without minding that a prodigal first generation offspring can gamble away all those resources in one year.

10 comments:

  1. 'Kwaroption' has eaten deep into us as individuals such that we take advantage of one another,it is now survival of the fittest .May God help us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "it is now survival of the fittest" = Jungle Law

      Delete
  2. Ngozi, your articles always cut to the heart of the matter.

    I commented on another post that our present crop of leaders from the '60s only know how about "grabbing power" and "grappling with power" but not how to HARNESS POWER FOR THE COMMON GOOD.
    None of them has engaged in a worthwhile enterprise that thrives to date so they don't know the basics about a productive system and efficient administration.

    They are so myopic to understand that the looted-legacy they pile up for their unborn generations would be come useless and irrelevant as the new world unfold.

    I said the foregoing to buttress your point - "Pre-Independence corruption happened with finesse, and there were often consequences for such actions when identified. But today’s, happens wantonly,... "

    Your last two paragraphs offers valid solutions...however we have leaders that like the proverbial dog has death on its trail but its sense of smell has gone with the wind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your last two paragraphs *offer* valid solutions... (pardon my error)

      Delete
  3. Fact - "If the public servant is sure that his pension and gratuity would come after his retirement, the urge to build that ‘false wall’ may not be there. For many Nigerians, this has become an instinctive habit that fuels the urge to keep as many properties and funds as possible for future generations without minding that a prodigal first generation offspring can gamble away all those resources in one year."

    ReplyDelete
  4. The problem of this country isn't corruption, there's corruption in every country in the world. What we lack here is a working institution..

    Nice write up Bros

    ReplyDelete
  5. Former President Jonathan said he would prefer to fight corruption through technology since the whole system is corrupt and everyone can't be jailed. We all know the result of this ... He was called the clueless one and all sorts of derogatory names.
    The "Saint" Buhari was sold to us as the incorruptible one. See where we are today. I need not say more than this šŸ˜

    ReplyDelete
  6. Many Nigerians are involved in this corruption that has eaten deep into our nation, I tell you that very few are free.

    It will take efforts from each of us to fight and combat corruption in our nation Nigeria, so help us God.

    Nice write up Ngozi

    ReplyDelete

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