Jonathan seeks collaboration to fight corruption

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan has said  the war to rid the country of corruption should not be left for his government alone, if the anti-graft war must succeed.

'In arresting the menace of corruption in Nigeria, we must understand that it is not a fight to be left for the government alone. Rather, it would require a concerted effort by individuals from all sectors to complement the effort of the government,' Jonathan said in his 234-page mid-term report presented to Nigerians last Wednesday, as part of activities marking the nation's Democracy Day, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent.

The President said he was convinced that corruption must also be fought with every sense of diligence it deserved by government and individuals. Otherwise, he said, Nigeria's sustainable development would be undermined with dire consequences on the economy, the citizenry and the nation's collective image globally.

He said, 'The citizens are, therefore, encouraged to work assiduously with government agencies in the fight against corruption.'

Jonathan identified weak rule of law and institutions as factors responsible for the continuous existence of pervasive corruption in the system, despite the efforts of his administration and his predecessors to tackle the scourge.

He said that was why his approach in fighting corruption was to focus on building strong institutions that had the capacity to overcome corrupt influences 'and not just to sermonise about corruption.'

He said, 'This approach uses the rule of law as a framework to fight corruption as a framework to fight corruption since corruption is a feature of weak rule of law and weak institutions.

'Fighting corruption through strengthening rule of law institutions and entrenching transparency and accountability mechanisms in the public service procurement and project implementation is efficacious because corruption is primarily a derogation of rule-based system.'

Jonathan said his administration was determined to make Nigeria a key global economic power, and therefore, recognised that it could not tolerate any degree of corruption.

He added that as long as Nigeria was widely perceived as corrupt, it would be difficult to attract the level of investment required to fast-track economic growth to protect the honour and dignity of Nigerians across the world.

According to him, corruption constitutes a major disincentive for investment in the Nigerian economy and increases the cost of governance and doing business.

He added that the scourge constituted a direct and inordinate taxation on the people.

He observed that the widespread international perception of Nigeria as a corrupt country had caused incalculable damage to the dignity and honour of many honest and diligent Nigerians and to the country's global competitiveness. (Punch)