By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJAâ€”Depreciating standard of living, widespread unemployment and insincerity of purpose by policy makers, were yesterday, identified as factors responsible for the increasing spate of corruption in the country, despite all the various counter-measures and policies promulgated by successive administrations to rid Nigeria of the menace.
An Anti-Corruption expert, Dr. Peter Langsett who stated this at a two-day Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes Summit in Abuja, maintained that unless there is a considerable improvement in the per-capita income of the average citizenry, corruption would continue to undermine the socio-economic and political development of the country.
While advocating for the establishment of State Anti-Corruption agencies to complement the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Dr.Langsett tasked these anti-graft agencies to be more proactive and to go after those he described as the â€˜big fishesâ€™ whom he said should be held responsible for not only plundering the nationâ€™s economy but for the geometric rise in poverty induced crimes in the country today.
According to him, â€œit is a pity that a recent survey indicated that Nigeriaâ€™s GDP per capital,Â is much lower than what obtained in the 1970â€™s due to corruption which is a major predicate of money laundering, what baffles me however, is that this country has the highest number of laws and anti-graft institutions in the whole world.â€
â€œUnless these anti-corruption agencies start frying the big fishes, starting with at least 20 of them and emphasis placed on commiserate punishment, while the recovered loot is ploughed back into sectors that will engender economic empowerment for the common man, fight against corruption will remain a wild goose chaseâ€