Vanguard (Lagos)

29 March 2013

Nigeria: Impunity, Not Corruption Is Nation's Biggest Problem

Lagos — Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi says culture of impunity, much more than corruption, has hampered Nigeria's development and promoted poverty.

Sanusi, who spoke at the 5th Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos on Thursday, said the unpreparedness of the country to sanction corrupt persons had ensured the emasculation of the system.

Sanusi

He noted that corruption was a universal problem, but added that other countries were able to attain development because they had adequate punitive structures in place.

The theme of the colloquium, organised to mark the 61st birthday of Tinubu was "Beyond Mergers: A National Movement for Change".

According to him, corruption is a big issue in the country today as in other parts of the world like Russia, China and others; but why are they eradicating poverty and Nigeria isn't?

"It is not just corruption. It is the kind of failed interventions that are procured with the proceeds of corruption.

"Everyone agree that corruption is bad. It has economic cost. You take a bribe and pay subsidy to someone who hasn't delivered the required goods. That is corruption," he added.

Sanusi said that in Nigeria people collected money for contracts and they wouldn't fulfil their own parts and nothing was done about it.

"What is destroying this country is that people are corrupt and nothing is done about it," he said.

He said although the country had achieved certain macro-economic improvements, poverty was still high because certain fundamentals such as infrastructure were not still in place.

According to him as soon as those fundamentals are put in place Nigerians will begin to benefit from this macro-economic stability.

He urged the younger generation of Nigerians to begin to position themselves for leadership, saying the youths had a big role to play in the future development of the country.

Tinubu said the problem of pervasive insecurity in the country could be solved if the Federal Government offered the olive branch to extremists in form of amnesty.

He said since it was successfully used to douse tension in the Niger Delta, it could also solve the Boko Haram issue if well implemented.

Gov. Babatunde Fashola of LagosState also said it was time for the youths to begin to initiate and pursue efforts geared at repositioning the country.

Fashola said the destiny of Nigeria was in the hands of the youths, expressing the hope that sooner than later the youths would dominate the leadership of the country.

"Today, I see hope and the hope is perhaps born today. I believe that very soon youths will take over the mantle of leadership in the country," Fashola said.

Governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), were among notable Nigerians that attended the colloquium.

Other eminent personalities were Sen. Sani Yerima, Chief Tom Ikimi and ACN National leader, Chief Bisi Akande.

NAN

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