Osinbanjo Says Finding An Anti-Corruption Crusader Will Soon Be An Issue In Nigeria
Nigeria Vice-President, Yemi Osinbanjo has said that as things is going pertaining corruption in the country it would get to a point that many people would become discouraged to stand up against corruption.
Osinbanjo who said this in his address at the 20th anniversary regional webinar organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission titled “Combating corruption and illicit financial flows: New measures and strategies”, said the fight against corruption is nuanced and hydra-headed, and that it is not going to get easier by the day; as a matter of fact, it will get more difficult by the day and many will become discouraged in standing up against corruption.
However he pointed that it is the duty individuals and institutions, especially in developing countries where corruption has such a devastating effect, to ensure that fight against corruption is being prioritised and continually devise new ways and new approaches even as the hydra-headed problem itself continues to manifest in different ways.
Osinbajo said the administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari had been demonstrating the political will and support for anti-corruption measures, which, he said, had afforded all anti-corruption agencies in the country the latitude to do their work without interference.
He noted that over the years, massive public resources and assets have been directly stolen, diverted, deliberately misapplied to gratify corrupt tendencies, stashed in foreign jurisdictions or mired in and susceptible to pilferage by the inequitable and unjust international economic system that continues to undermine the social and economic development aspirations of poor countries, especially from Africa.
The VP also noted that without effectively combating corruption and IFFs and promoting international cooperation for asset recovery and asset return, Africa cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 16 which is devoted to corruption.
He as well said that said breaking the wall of secret corporate ownership was crucial, especially in developing countries, because secrecy around corporate ownership was implicated in the countries’ underdevelopment.
The Vice President said the experience in Nigeria, as in other developing countries, is that anonymous corporate ownership covers a multitude of sins, including conflict of interests, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and even terrorism financing.
He also disclosed that Nigeria was in the process of amending its corporate law to mandate the disclosure of beneficial interest in a company’s shares and prescribe punitive measures for failure of disclosure.
Osinbanjo added that the country must make corruption expensive for those who engage in it and send the unequivocal message that corruption simply does not pay.