Nigeria

Osinbajo: Fighting corruption will get more difficult in Nigeria

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The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has spoken of why the fight against corruption in the country may continue to get difficult on a daily basis.

Mr Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday at the 20th-anniversary regional webinar organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC).

His speech was titled, “Combating corruption and illicit financial flows: New measures and strategies.” and was made available to journalists by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande.

He noted that aside from the difficulties, many people will also get frustrated for standing against corruption.

“The fight against corruption is nuanced and hydra-headed, 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.”

“…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.”

“Without effectively combating corruption and IFFs (Illicit Financial Flows) and promoting international cooperation for asset recovery and asset return, Africa cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 16 of the SDGs is devoted to corruption.”

“Our 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.”

Mr Osinbajo, however, said the current administration had given anti-corruption agencies the will to operate independently in carrying out their activities without government interference.

He disclosed that to win the war against corruption, the country “must protect, even more, whistle-blowers – persons who come forward with information against corruption.”

“We must protect those who are ready to fight against corruption and who are prepared to do so without necessarily disclosing their identities and even those who are ready to disclose their identities.

“We must make corruption expensive for those who engage in it and send the unequivocal message that corruption simply does not pay.

“It is the unenviable but noble task of the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies to make corruption unattractive to its disciples and facilitate new approaches to stemming IFFS and promoting asset recovery and return.”

“The thing that we must take note of is that corruption fights back. And it is fighting back and it has the resources to do so.”

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