LAGOS — Former Management Specialist at the World Bank, Professor Ladipo Adamolekun, has explained reasons why the war against corruption might be difficult to win in Nigerian. He said this would only be possioble when the country begins to punish corrupt persons.
Adamolekun said nothing promoted corrupt practices like when corrupt people were allowed to go unpunished, adding: “Unpunished corruption deepens corruption. When people are made to pay for their offences, it drastically reduces corruption.”
Speaking at a meeting with Vanguard newpapers editors, at the company’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, Adamolekun said Nigeria was a signatory to Africa Union and United Nations’ anti-corruption conventions but lacked the political will to implement them.
He said the most worrisome aspect of it was that proceeds of corruption were not invested in the country to provide opportunities for the populace, adding: “We are not condoning corruption but if you are taking the proceeds out, it makes it worst. If they steal and invest in Nigeria, they will create jobs and opportunities for the people.”
He said Nigeria lacked common grounds on the economic and social policies, noting that no policy could meaningfully be implemented if the basic law of the land contradicts what is being implemented.
The management expert explained that a group like Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU was challenging some of the government policies, like privatization, because there was no common ground.
He said: “Can anybody tell me that there is a common ground in economic policy, or social policy in Nigeria? I will like to know because that’s one of our critical points.
“If the elite significantly disagree on some policies, it shows that there is no common ground. So, you can’t talk of common ground when your basic law dictates something different from what you are interpreting.”
If your basic law contradict what an important member of the elites considered to be common ground, then, there is a problem.
“How do you have a basic law that said the commanding height of the economy belongs to the public sector when in fact, a significant proportion of the elites including myself believe that that’s wrong headed. There must be some coherence between what we are doing and what the law says”, he explained.
The Professor stated that Nigerian constitution could not be meaningfully amended unless the lawmakers show genuine commitment. “There is no way the National Assembly can amend the constitution because, there is so much pretense. None of them has commented on that part of constitution. For eleven years, they have ignored the constitutional prohibition of foreign account.”
-By Nnamdi Ojiego
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