Our most mentioned country, Nigeria is envisaged to be quite deep in the pool of confusion when the talk comes to corruption. Attempts to save this rickety ship of over 200 million passengers seem to have resulted in a riddled state of jeopardy. While many evils bestow these travelers on a daily, some of them seem to have an extra life jinx that successfully prevents them from the vissimilitudes of the day and from the perishing wand that rules the night. All thanks no appraisal to the magician; the devil. Aye! The devil. What other nice name can be allotted to a spirit that enters some men to cloth themselves in Agbada and dance shoki to get your fingerprints with myriads of promises ranging from a meal a day for school kids and 5,000 monthly stipend for jobless peeps. Perhaps, that’s the devil doing her favourite which is promising heaven and the stars whereas he knows you’re only crying for the moon as he had had his persona kicked out of the same heaven a while ago. Perhaps you then realize that you’ve been served fresh vegetables spiced with a flavour that appeals to your ears instead of your nose or better still, your senses of reasoning. That flavour is the lying one. ‘If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed is ready to risk all to come to the mountain.’ Sadly, the Mohammed is a humane flavour. A lying flavour. A lying Mohammed. Do not forget, Mohammed was sent as a flavour by some tantalizing witches that work with the unknown devil. And before you swear that you’re going to kill my Mohammed when next you see him, I’ll remind you that he wasn’t alone all along. There can’t be a flavour or an aroma without a meal neither can you have a meal without a chef and yes, the chef will always have many friends. Friends who are in need and those who are indeed in need. I know of a chef, they call him Jagaban of the Bourdillon.
I know of a meal; I know of a ‘presiding dent’ who has spent more time at health theatres than in his thinking room of administration. May be we should let that lie a bit as he readily has a ‘commissioner’ to oversee on his behalf while he visits the crown kingdom. Curiously, they search for the devil that has been the meal poisoning agent over time. The devil that has severely bruised the heels of the captains of the rickety ship. In the vocabulary of devils alive, written boldly in gold is the demon ‘CORRUPTION’. Based on hearsays and guess works, these fellows are convinced that the golden demon is the witch they’ve been on the search for. In a crazy rush to haunt the hunter and give the demonic persona a run for his life out of his sinister hide outs and great harms…
The Whistle Blower was discovered.
He was described as an angel to save these guys from distresses and stresses of making unpalatable meals usually messed up by the demon, corruption.
May be you will be the successful catcher of the minions of demons housed in this devil, only time will tell us that.
A French Philosopher once said in his book ‘The Government and the People’ that: “We have no smooth running of power until we begin to actively engage our people in the fight against lack of development”.
Ladies and gentlemen, not to bore you with rhetorics, in 2016, therichest.com published a report on developed and underdeveloped nations and posited that a major factor responsible for lack of development in the 3rd world is corruption and unaccountability from the government to the people.
While I will like to stand against this backdrop to support that the Federal government is on the right track of fighting the graft war by introducing the Whistle blowing policy, I shall be careful enough not to prophesy that this is the best medium of exposing corruption outrightly.
My reasons and points are though rich but humble to house themselves by pitching a tent of points on three firm grounds:
The Nature of the whistle blowing policy, closely escorted by the fact that corruption is the grand degeneracy of our government and lastly backed up with the succinct justification of the Policy.
On The Nature of the whistle blowing policy, according to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the primary goal of the policy is to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, by increasing exposure of financial crimes and rewarding whistle-blowers. In order to promote such exposure, whistle-blowers are encouraged and offered protection from harassment or intimidation by their bosses or employers.
The Policy Selling Points are identified to be the possibility of increased accountability and transparency in the management of public funds. Also, the possibility that more funds would be recovered that could be deployed in financing Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit.
In the final analysis, it is hoped that the more accountable the government becomes, the higher will be Nigeria’s ranking on the indicators of
openness and ease of doing business . The ultimate goal is to develop a corruption-free society and attract more and more foreign investors.
The violations the policy stands against include, but are not limited to mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets; financial malpractice or fraud; collecting/soliciting bribes; diversion of revenue; fraudulent and unapproved payments; and procurement fraud (notably, kickbacks and over-invoicing).
Hastily, my next point is conveyed in the obvious fact that Corruption is the grand degeneracy of our government.
Fellow countrymen, it needs no debate that the major cankerworm that is responsible for the stagnancy and retrogression which Nigeria is suffering today, is corruption of authorities and principalities in power.
Overtime, there has been a constant and total clamp down on the resurgence and insurgency of corruption in our country. Both locally and internationally.
For 16 years, we have experienced impossibilities in the tackle of this great enemy. In 2017, there was brought to life, a gradual solution to this menace. It is of exigency that we view in bad light, any person who will choose to see the whistle blowing policy as an Achilles’s heel rather than nitro boosting tyres.
The above will appear as an intellectual dishonesty when it is not backed up with adequate justifications of the whole policy.
It is worthy of note that we remind ourselves that there can’t be something on nothing. Just as there cannot be a solution without a problem, so it is that there cannot be development without total eradication of corruption. A viable and bankable channel of eradicating corruption in Nigeria is by believing and promoting the whistle blowing policy.
Since the introduction of the policy, we have seen politicians and public office holders return stolen funds. The EFCC has been of great help in this matter.
The Ikoyi Osborne Towers scandal is another prove. Where over 150 million dollars was recovered.
Let’s not forget in a hurry, the 9.2 million dollars recovered from a former NNPC managing director.
Also, the 8 billion naira loot of Canterbury can’t just but be talked about.
All thanks to the whistle blowing policy.
Examples of ways whereby the policy tackles corruption are that it is against:
*Violation of Government’s financial regulations e.g. failure to comply with the Financial Regulations Act, Public Procurement Act and other extant laws.
* Mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets (e.g. properties and vehicles).
*Financial malpractice or fraud, theft, collecting / soliciting bribes.
* Diversion of revenues.
* Underreporting of revenues.
*Conversion of funds for personal use.
*Fraudulent and unapproved payments.
* Splitting of contracts.
*Procurement fraud (kickbacks and over-invoicing etc.)
*Violation of public procurement procedures.
Also, it provides Information on stolen and concealed public funds.
It is worthy to note the reward aspect of this policy. The policy rewards persons who report with 5percent of the recovered sums.
The general hope of this policy is that more looted funds will be recovered through the encouragement of voluntary information about corrupt practices.
I will end with one of my favourite lines…
Jesus turned water to wine but people had to fetch the water first.
Therefore, we must first see this policy as a saviour as it is clearly a means to achieve the curious search for termination of corruption and when this is done, it is of little doubt that Nigeria shall rejoice. Provided there is no resurrection of ‘the soon to be deceased’; corruption.
Written by Samuel Ajayi