ICPC chief accuses govt of stalling anti-graft fight

Date: 27-10-2010 1:38 pm (13 years ago) | Author: Aliuniyi lawal
- at 27-10-2010 01:38 PM (13 years ago)
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THE Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (EFCC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (rtd), yesterday accused the Federal Government and the National Assembly of frustrating the Commission’s fight against corruption through inadequate funding.
Ayoola regretted that government’s response to the Commission’s request for increased funding was not encouraging.
He also faulted attacks on operatives of the Commission in the course of discharging their official duties, saying the Commission would no longer tolerate such actions against his men.
The country’s fight against corruption was given the thumbs down yesterday as it further dropped four points below its rating in 2009 to emerge 134th position out of the 178 countries ranked on the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2010 by a global anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI).
In the report, which was released yesterday, while Somalia was adjudged the most corrupt country, Myanmar and Afghanistan were jointly considered as second worst followed by Iraq.
Nigeria fell to 134th from 130th position last year, with its CPI score dropping to 2.4 from 2.5 in the 178-nation index, which is based on independent surveys on corruption.
Jointly heading the index in which a score of 10 indicates a country with the highest standards, and 0 as highly corrupt, were Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore with 9.3. They were also at the top of the table last year.
This year’s index ranks 178 countries by their perceived levels of domestic and public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
The 2010 CPI shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries on the index score below five, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have low levels of corruption).
In a statement made available to The Guardian, Chair of Transparency International, Huguette Labelle, observed that these results showed that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening governance across the globe.
Ayoola’s position was made known in Ibadan at the inauguration of the Oyo State Chapter of the National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC).
The ICPC chief, who was represented by the national coordinator of NAVC, Folu Olamiti, said the National Assembly, as representatives of the people “on whom the Commission relied for people’s mobilisation and participation in the fight against the scourge have not shown such understanding.”
He said: “Our nation is riddled with corruption today because our leaders and followers alike are driven by selfish interests; to the extent that everyone thinks of and works for himself and no one thinks and works for Nigeria. The path to the nation’s greatness lies in selflessness. You cannot be an anti-corruption fighter or indeed a true leader unless you are selfless. The fight against corruption is a war that must be won by the people if generations yet unborn are not to be sentenced to perpetual misery, poverty and shame.”
Ayoola faulted moves by National Assembly members to increase their allowances in the midst of large-scale unemployment, poor living condition of people and increased cases of poverty.
He explained that the NAVC was formed to provide an enabling environment for people to fight corruption in their environment.
The retired jurist charged the volunteers to see their calling as an act of service and pursuit of values rather than for material gain.
In his goodwill message, the immediate past president of the Nigeria Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), wondered why the Commission was being starved of funds when members of the National Assembly daily reviewed their allowances.
Akeredolu expressed regrets that corruption had eaten deep into every sector of the economy including the judiciary and the police force.
According to Akeredolu, a situation where parents buy certificates for their wards calls for concern as such children grow up to add to the nation’s many problems.
Nigeria fell to 134th from 130th position last year, with its CPI score dropping to 2.4 from 2.5 in the 178-nation index, which is based on independent surveys on corruption.

Posted: at 27-10-2010 01:38 PM (13 years ago) | Gistmaniac