Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said that corruption remains Nigeria’s single greatest challenge and the problem associated with it could strongly be described as cancer.
Osinbajo said this at a jointly organised workshop by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the National Judicial Institute (NJI), on capacity building at the NJI, Mohammed Bello Centre, Jabi, Abuja, on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.
According to Osinbajo, reason why Nigeria built no major new roads or no new infrastructure in the last 6 years, despite earnings from oil in excess of $100 dollars a barrel, is largely because of corruption.
“The Vice President, in his speech, stated that the escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast was on account of the fact that billions of dollars allotted to the purchase of arms for our military, was cynically embezzled by senior military and civilian government officials.
“In the last administration, two weeks before the elections, cash in excess of N100billion and over $250 million, was released in a few days ostensibly for security purposes. The aggregate sum released was more than some States earned in a whole year. That is the enormity of the embezzlement that we are talking about.
“Corruption threatens our security, health, education and even our corporate existence. GAVI, the global fund for provision of vaccines for the poorest in developing countries, stopped providing funds to Nigeria for alleged mismanagement of funds by the Ministry of Health officials between 2011 and 2013. Nigeria had to refund $2.2million. These were vaccines and drugs meant to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, amongst the poorest of the poor of our country.
“The enormous resources in the hands of perpetrators today is used to subvert justice, to bribe pliable senior government officials, to bribe in some cases judicial officers, to subvert the legislative process and, of course, even to subvert the press. The problem with corruption is that it is a cancer. It may be terminal if not checked. The failure of African States, civil wars and destruction of lives and livelihoods, is the result of failure of institutions largely caused by endemic systemic corruption.
“It is because of the existential nature of the threat of corruption, that collaboration between the Judiciary, the Executive and of course the Legislature is imperative.
“In working together, all of us in these institutions, the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature, are mindful that by the nature of systemic corruption all institutions are affected one way or the other. But we must come together and we are coming together, as a patriotic gesture to rescue our nation from looming disaster,” Osinbajo said