Corruption has ruined Nigeria



 

 

PUNCH

Corruption has ruined Nigeria — APRM report

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By Onyedi Ojiabor, Abuja

Published: Tuesday, 3 Jun 2008

The African Peer Review Mechanism has blamed Nigeria’s failure to develop on political and economic corruption.

The ARPM also said in a report released in Abuja on Monday, that if the $300bn a former World Bank President, Mr. Paul Wolfowitz, claimed was stolen from Nigeria in four decades had been used for public good, the country would have been an exemplary nation in Africa.

 It said it was disheartening that a country that is the sixth largest oil producer in the world had the third largest concentration of poor people.

 The report was prepared by an APRM team of experts who in March undertook a one-month assessment of developmental projects in Nigeria.

The 380-page report covered democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and social economic development.

The Special Adviser to the President on New Partnership for African Development, Ambassador Tunji Olagunju, said the report represented an unbiased external evaluation of governance in the country.

The report states, “There is virtual agreement among observers that corruption– political and economic – primarily explains poverty in Nigeria.

“Corruption has held back economic growth and development and frustrated incentives to align budgetary allocations with development priorities.

“As revealed by former World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz, Nigeria has lost $300bn to corruption in the last four decades.”

The report also quoted a conference by bishops in Nigeria which noted that “corruption is a way of life, especially in government and business and responsible in large measure for broken promises, dashed hopes and shallow dreams that have characterised the lives of most Nigerians.”

According to the report, without the eradication of corruption, Nigeria would not be able to meet its target of being one of the 20 top global economies by 2020.

Apart from corruption, the report also said that the greatest challenge facing the country was how to channel “her wealth from the oil and gas industry so as to achieve socio-economic development.”

It said Nigeria “scores below the sub-Saharan average on several socio-economic indicators, including Gross National Index per capita ($620 in 2006), infant mortality, access to potable water and life expectancy.”

The APRM experts, who tagged part of the report “the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty,” also warned that Nigeria was unlikely to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

They added that ineffective implementation of policies and policy reversals posed serious challenges to governance.


 

THIS DAY

Special Adviser to the  President Umaru Yar’Adua on the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Mr Tunji  Olagunju, said yesterday that  the country lost about N3.5 trillion to  corruption in the last four decades.

Olagunju announced this while speaking on the key challenges in Nigeria, at a conference on Nigeria’s Country Review Report (CRT) on APRM.

He said that the information was  released by the former World Bank President, Paul Wolfwitz.

According to him, corruption and money laundering have retarded economic growth, development and frustrate incentives on budgetary allocation with development priority.

“Corruption is responsible in large measure for broken promises, the dashed hopes and shallow dreams that have characterised the lives of most Nigerias in the past few decades,” he said.

Olagunju said that Transparency International’s 2006 Corruption Perception lndex ranked Nigeria more corrupt than 37 out of the 45 African countries for which relevant data were available.

“Nigeria will continue to be poor and the country may not meet it targets of being one of the 20  top global economies by 2020,” he  added. 

He further said Nigeria was rated among the top 20 countries in the world with the widest gap  between the rich and poor.

Olagunju said the greatest challenge facing the country was how to channel her wealth from the oil and gas industry. He said Nigeria was unlikely to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and was having difficulty in delivering social services like  potable water and energy. “ Nigeria has been unable to manage rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation, or providing effective intra and inter-urban transportation,” he said.


 

 

 

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