CIVIL society groups that insist the United States report on corruption in Nigeria said nothing new are right. In the same way, nothing new is being done to curb corruption in Nigeria, not even from the civil society groups, which contentedly fight corruption with words.
The report is a basic American scanning of the global environment, considered among sources of information for reaching decisions in its international relations. Nigeria’s importance to the US is at most tenuous; its demand of Nigeria’s oil and gas gives the country a footnote importance to American leaders.
Oil’s critical place as an energy source is often threatened. Nigeria benefits or suffers with the direction of the threat. The day America finds a better alternative to oil and gas, Nigeria’s diminishing place in American concerns would be final.
It is in these lights that Nigerians must see their relationship with America. There are two possible reasons for America complaining about corruption in Nigeria. Insecurity in Nigeria could spill to its shores, distant, geographically as both countries are and corruption increases cost of obtaining cheap energy and ensures insecurity persists.
Yearly, thousands of Nigerian youth, and the not so young, hang their chances of survival on America. They do almost anything to get there. Immigration measures have woefully failed to stop them and Americans are worried that Nigerians could swarm their country.
The other major concern is that terrorism – as America rates any acts that threaten its own peace – could be exported to it from Nigeria.
Mrs. Hillary Clinton, America’s Secretary of State placed the report before the US Congress. A part of the report read, “Public officials including the President, Vice President, governors, deputy governors, cabinet ministers and legislators (at both federal and state levels) must comply with financial disclosure laws, including the requirement to declare their assets before assuming and after leaving office. Violators risked prosecution, but cases rarely came to conclusion’’.
We have enough laws against corruption. Financial practices that are proactive enough are required to make corrupt practices difficult. Such laws should also tighten loopholes that deflates efforts at prosecuting suspects.
When former Lagos State Commissioner of Police Abubakar Tsav says, “From local government level to the Presidency, the governments have shown no efforts or political will to fight corruption,” he too is stating the obvious.
As the concern about corruption mounts, it becomes the responsibility of everyone to invent innovative ways to tackle what some consider a professional calling.
Governments unenthusiastically fight corruption but are they different from other Nigerians? The war against corruption will not be won unless we all assume a responsibility to end corruption since governments will not fight corruption.