Buhari needs more than po­lit­i­cal will to fight graft – Bri­tish MPs

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Francis Arinze Iloani

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari needs more than po­lit­i­cal will to suc­ceed in his fight against cor­rup­tion in Nige­ria.

This is con­tained in a re­port by the In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee of (IDC) of the Bri­tish House of Com­mons.

The IDC, chaired by Stephen Twigg, was ap­pointed by the House of Com­mons to ex­am­ine the ex­pen­di­ture, ad­min­is­tra­tion and pol­icy of the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment’s (DfID) pro­grammes in Nige­ria.

The com­mit­tee’s re­port noted that a com­mit­ment to fight cor­rup­tion was a cen­tral fea­ture of Pres­i­dent Buhari’s elec­tion cam­paign and is thus a key pil­lar of his man­date, which has given Nige­ri­ans room for op­ti­mism to move for­ward.

It how­ever noted that late Pres­i­dent Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had also iden­ti­fied the fight against cor­rup­tion as one of his pri­or­i­ties but since 2009, Nige­ria had made lit­tle progress in the fight, slip­ping down the Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tions In­dex from 130th in 2009 to 136th in 2015.

“Nige­ria also fell from 35th out of 53 coun­tries in 2009 to 39th out of 54 in 2014 in the Ibrahim In­dex of African Gov­er­nance. This sug­gests that po­lit­i­cal will is a nec­es­sary but not suf­fi­cient con­di­tion for turn­ing the tide against cor­rup­tion in Nige­ria,” the re­port said.

The MPs are wor­ried that cor­rup­tion in Nige­ria had been a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem in cer­tain sec­tors with the oil and gas sec­tor on top of the list.

“Since 1980, oil ex­ports have brought in more than $1 tril­lion in cu­mu­la­tive rev­enue, yet de­spite pock­ets of wealth there has been a con­sis­tent fail­ure by suc­ces­sive Nige­rian gov­ern­ments to trans­late size­able nat­u­ral re­source rev­enues into tan­gi­ble so­cio-eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the ma­jor­ity of Nige­ri­ans,” the re­port said.

It noted that as much as $32bn was lost to cor­rup­tion dur­ing the six-year ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan and the cost of cor­rup­tion in Nige­ria equated to roughly $1,000 per per­son in 2014.

The MPs called for the pas­sage of the Petroleum In­dus­try Bill un­der­go­ing con­sid­er­a­tion at the Na­tional Assem­bly as a way out of the en­demic cor­rup­tion in the sec­tor.

The re­port blamed the legacy of mil­i­tary rule for Nige­ria’s weak in­sti­tu­tions and a lack of ca­pac­ity at all lev­els of govern­ment as bud­get­ing pro­cesses em­ployed by state gov­ern­ments as “de­plorable.”

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