Sunday, June 26, 2005

Nigeria: Corruption and Abetter-Nations

On corruption in Nigeria; via David Blair , Telegraph : That past Nigerian leaders stole at least £200 billion ($400 billion) of aid money, equivalent to about 300 years of western aid for the whole of Africa, or six Marshall Plans! “…British aid for Africa totaled £720 million last year. If that sum was spent annually for the next three centuries, it would cover the cost of Nigeria's looting.”

This is mind boggling. I wonder how could this be possible? One question is paramount on my mind:

“What are nations that help fed this extraordinary fraud doing to assist Nigeria? The loot, in cash and assets, are predominately in western nations. It is ludicrous to imagine that these nations knew nothing about a scam orchestrated over 40 years, particularly when it was of this magnitude”

This is a crucial and poignant question the G8 nations must answer. The stolen money help ran the economy of some western nations, so what is all the fuzz about for not wanting to grant debt relief to Nigeria. I know this statement contradicts my views in an earlier post, “G8 First 18” , and I still maintain that Nigeria has to set his house in order first, it also equally important to ask this question.

For corruption to be effectively tackled in Nigeria, efforts of the present administration must reach far and wide and not be limited to some scape-goats. Also, aid money must be closely monitored, and nations that have served as repositories for looted money MUST work conscientiously to repatriate such money; using legal technicalities as excuses is unacceptable, its an act of hypocrisy, and that makes them equally guilty.

This issue just refuses to die.

Obasanjo’s presidential library; Festus Odimegwu , via ThisDay : He states that he and some undisclosed individuals, (but read this ) were aware of the fund raising plan for the library right from the start (my guess is that he and others help coordinated it). The reason he gave for the timing of the fund raising was that the president wanted to prove to all doubting Thomas’ that he is indeed serious about leaving office at the end of his term (which is about 2 year away).

Odimegwu is a very smart chap and one of the best minds in the Nigerian corporate sector. He is the MD of Nigerian Breweries, a super blue chip corporation in Nigeria. I have a lot of respect for him. What troubles me is that if this caliber of people were privy to the details of the library project, and given that Obasanjo’s administration had just demonstrated its intent to fight corruption after a long period of inaction, how come none of them realized the ethical implications of staging a fund raising event in May 2005 when the president still has 2 more years left on his term? Perhaps having a high intelligence quotient deprives one of the meanings of ethical conduct and simple common sense, because a little application of each would have taken care of things.

Read more about Obasanjo Presidential library here on Elendu Reports

Is it that the some of those running the show in Nigeria are also ethically challenged? (I have concluded that majority of them do lack common sense in this post)