Popular public affairs analyst and development consultant, Mr Jide Ojo, has unveiled a book on tackling the menace of corruption the country, entitled: Nigeria: Corruption and Opacity in Governance.
The event held Thursday in Abuja, with the support of MacArthur Foundation, had in attendance representatives of different NGOs and government agencies, including the executive director Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Dr YZ Yau, Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, among others.
Addressing newsmen at the event, Ojo said that “the problem in Nigeria is not lack of resources but effective and efficient management of the resources, in the face of monumental corruption, which is what the new book is talking about”.
He said: “Everyday, you hear of money being misused. These are monies that are supposed to be used for the provision of infrastructure. As a country, both leaders and followers need to redouble their efforts in ensuring that people’s money is made to work for them. Until then, I am sorry to disappoint you, nothing will change. We must work together to drastically reduce the issue of corruption because, while we are talking about the mindboggling corruption in government, we are also complicit as individuals.
“If we don’t change our attitude to governance and see that we are all affected, the situation will always stay with us. Corruption has been the bane of Nigeria; that is why we have not met any of the development goals. This is year 2020. 11 years ago, we set the agenda that we will be one of the best economies in the world by 2020, but we didn’t meet any of the eighth development goals. Now, Sustainable Development Goal is on for 2030, but we are not in any way close by.”
Also speaking, the Country Director of MacArthur Foundation, Dr Kole Shettima, said that it takes a collective effort to tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria, even as he expressed confidence that the new book will provide knowledge to Nigerians on how to tackle the menace.
“It is a moment of sober reflection for us that corruption is the reason we are where we are today. Poverty, poor infrastructure, insecurity are sad reminders of the effects of corruption. Nevertheless, I am happy about the book because I believe it will generate enough knowledge of how to solve the problem, especially as it is written in a thought provoking way,” he said.