“Whistleblowers Must Be Encouraged And Protected”- Ribadu …Gives 12 Ways Nigeria Can Tackle Corruption
By Adenike Lucas
President Muhammadu Buhari promised to tackle corruption, provide security and create employment for youths if elected.
Many say the President is working. They say people in the north east are returning to normalcy following the rescue of kidnapped person and recapturing of territories once taken by Boko Haram, by the Nigerian military .
The Chief of Army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, who is leading the offensive – Operation LAFIYA DOLE– against the deadly terrorist sect has duly gained the confidence of the people and President Buhari who promised to lead the war against terrorism from the front.
But many want to know what’s happening with the fight against corruption. This has been well publicised due to the ongoing investigation brought against several Politically Exposed Persons.
However, sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, believe it’s their boss stalling the work of the President.
For over a year, whistle blowers who have spoken out and provided evidence against the acting boss of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu are maligned and bullied.
Publishing their abuse at the hand of Mr Magu lead to the arrest of the popular blogger, Mr Abubakar Sidiq Usman.
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the EFCC gave insiders willing to expose Mr Magu, a big boost when he has said that “whistleblowers must be encouraged and protected.”
Mallam Ribadu who spoke at the 2016 Annual National Management Conference organised by the National Institute of Management (Chartered) in Abuja on Monday, 19 September, gave 12 ways in which Nigeria can tackle endemic corruption.
EFCC sources were particularly impressed by number 8 which states that “the civil society and the media should be encouraged to be very vigilant and honest watchdogs of all systems. Whistle-blowers must be encouraged and protected.”
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu
12 ways Nigeria can tackle endemic corruption – Mallam Ribadu
Leadership is essential. Leadership at all levels should be beyond reproach to provide the needed example. There should also be the will to apply the sanctions. As I have pointed out several times, lack of will by the political leadership to prosecute the war against corruption takes us to nowhere. The political leadership should be determined and it should be seen to be serious about it.
Honesty has to be lifted to the position of a prized and rewarding national value. Criminals should not be celebrated as heroes on account of their wealth.
All government expenditures should be budgeted. Extra-budgetary spending should be criminalised and security votes should be completely phased out.
Transparency should be the keyword in all government businesses; from budgeting to award of contracts and even employment. Lack of transparency is the first thing that sows the seed of corruption.
Smart technology should be deployed in procurement process to give room for transparent and accountable system of doing business.
Cash transactions should be completely abolished or minimized as much as possible. With electronic movements of cash everything could be within watch and can be tracked.
We should weed out corruption in our electoral process. If corruption thrives in the way leaders are brought to offices, we are indirectly bringing corrupt people to power and thus perpetuating corruption.
The civil society and the media should be encouraged to be very vigilant and honest watchdogs of all systems. Whistle-blowers must be encouraged and protected.
Red tapes and administrative bottlenecks in the bureaucracy should be tackled. Reducing unnecessary process will cut down tendencies of corruption as people need not to bypass established rules to accomplish any task.
Subsidies should be phased out by the government to stop all the haemorrhage and abuse. As a discretionary intervention, subsidies on whatever service or product is very much prone to corruption by both the beneficiaries and those managing it, as we have seen with petroleum subsidy in this country.
Education is important to this process. Citizens need to be sufficiently educated to be able to sieve right from the wrongs and demand for what is right.
Lastly, at the root of achieving all these is a resolve by all Nigerians individually and collectively to not compromise. We must resolve to shun corruption entirely by taking a stand that ‘I will not take bribe again’ no matter the consequences. Time will come when there will be no takers!