Nigeria is faced with insecurity and strife due to systematic corruption that has left the citizens impoverished, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr Waziri Adio has said.
Adio who was speaking at the International Anti-Corruption Day 2019, said Nigerians have become angry as a poor hungry man is a angry man.
This he said has resulted to insecurity and strife in the country as corruption has deprived the citizens of enormous opportunities.
Speaking through the agency’s Director of Communications and Advocacy, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Adio said opportunities such as infrastructure, good hospitals, schools, gainful employment, clean water, to mention a few, that should have come to citizens, are sadly lost on the alter of corruption.
While noting that this ugly situation cuts across sub-Sahara Africa, he said Nigerian citizens push through very extreme risks in search of greener pastures in foreign countries because of corruption in the nation.
A message from the Secretary General of the United Nations, presented on behalf of Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, by Oliver Stolpe, stated that every year, trillions of dollars the equivalent of more than 5percent of global Gross Domestic Product are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices that seriously undermine the rule of law and other crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.
“Tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure, funds that are essential to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
“People are right to be angry. Corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all,” The Sec Gen said.
The UN called on all to unite against corruption to stop the drain on resources caused by illicit financial flows, adding that the United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified by nearly every country in the world, gives us the means to strengthen our commitment to addressing this issue.
He further called on Governments which will meet in Abu Dhabi later this month, to review progress and prepare for the first-ever General Assembly Special Session on combatting corruption, which will take place in 2021, to take decisive action to make the fight against corruption a top priority.
The Secretary General also urged people everywhere to continue to work on innovative solutions to win the battle against corruption in order to ensure that precious resources serve the peoples of the world.
Earlier in her remarks, Lilian Ekeanyanwu, Head, TUGAR, who conveyed the event, said Nigeria is working on strategies to allow entering points for all citizens in the fight against corruption.
While assuring that awareness would continue to be raised on the scorge of corruption and the need to combat it, she said the planned launch of a Beneficial Ownership Register for the extractive sector later this week is s huge step in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.