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