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Corruption, Endemic Problem Confronting Nigeria, Says Ali Ndume

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By Richard Thomas, Ibadan

The Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Army in the Senate, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume has described corruption as an endemic problem confronting the nation. over some times.

Senator Ndume made the point during the 2021 Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series, held at the Trenchard Hall, the University of Ibadan on Saturday.

In his lecture titled, “The Unexplained  Wealth and The Fight Against Corruption in Nigeria,” the lawmaker said the nation over the years has been faced with a high level of corruption, which in turn has paved way for so many other problems in Nigeria.

According to him, the impact of corruption on the economic well-being of the people has widen the gap between those who have and those who do not have.

Senator Ndume explained that the denial of the use of resources stolen can directly or indirectly hamper growth and development and the government’s efforts to reduce poverty.

“I recall that the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari rode to power on the slogan, “fight against corruption or “zero tolerance for corruption”, as the  cardinal focus of the government.

“In the last six years, of this administration, the press is awash with issues relating to fight against corruption. Property were seized, high profile corruption cases were filled in various courts, some persons involved are on self exile, some jailed while a lot more is going on. These notwithstanding, I think there are certain things  that need to be  done or completed.”

Senator Ndume said a society like ours with deep social stratification in terms of economic development will not know peace when the majority are not able to afford  necessities of life such as food, shelter, education and health care among others.

“To compound  the issue in this country, we do not have a social safety net to deal with the consequences of deep division with a larger part of the population being the have not.”

The lawmaker who said the  National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Federal Ministry of Information has great roles to play on the development called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ICPC and other security agencies to take the issues of whistleblowers very seriously, just as he urged them to carry out investigations  on such matters no matter how casual it may be.

According to him, the current security challenges all over the country without exception is a byproduct of corruption, adding that  corruption and insecurity are bound with the funding of transitional organized crime like terrorism, human trafficking, drug crimes, arms trade and others.

Speaking on legal regime on unexplained wealth in Nigeria, Ndume  said it began in  the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as the  constitution guarantees several   fundamental human rights under Chapter IV. Some of the rights include freedom of movement, the right to property, the right to freedom of religion and others.

“In the National Assembly, there was the proceed of Crimes Bill passed which  substantially deals with these issues, to make people accountable, to enable law enforcement agencies seize property suspected to have been acquired as proceeds of crime. Unfortunately, it was not assented to by the then president Jonathan, it suffered the consequences of corruption.”

“Senator Ndume said the fight against corruption is the fight for the nation and must start from the top to the bottom.

He said:  “it is my view that the need for the president to urgently issue and sign an unexpalined Wealth  Order and prevail on the  National Assembly to pass the proceeds of Crime Bill in time regardless of the bickering on the management of the proceeds recovered.

“Our crusade against this monster should start with the politicians, top public servants, civil servants, down to local government staff.”

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