A member of Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption (PCAC), Prof. Etannibi Alemika, said on Saturday that nepotism was the cause of corruption in Nigeria.
Alemika said this in Abuja at the Annual Leadership Lecture and Graduation of the 9th set of African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) School.
According to him, nepotism is the allocation of resources be it employment, admission, contracts, location of infrastructure among others, to associates, relatives, religious and groups as a favour without following due process.
He said that corruption resulted from widespread nepotism which was the consequence of people disregarding merit and equity in allocating resources or positions in the nation.
Alemika said that nepotism had made a particular tribe or religion more predominant in some agencies.
“Adequate attention has not been paid to nepotism in spite of its widespread manifestations and adverse consequences in Nigeria.
“It has engendered erosion of institutional norms, capability and inefficiency in the use of human and material resources, feeling of marginalisation that has fuelled inter-group animosity and conflicts.
“It also results in the absence of strong and capable state institutions that are necessary and required for promoting and protecting national security, integration, good governance and sustainable development,” he said.
The PCAC member said that nepotism bred incompetence and erosion of values that enhanced transparency, productivity, justice, national security and development.
He said that though successive governments had introduced measures to combat corruption, they were poorly conceived or subverted by those responsible for their efficient implementation.
Alemika said that corruption had destructive consequences because it eroded human security and welfare and undermined national development, unity and security.
He, however, advised that to combat corruption in Nigeria, leadership at the political, economic, cultural, religious and civic levels was required.
He said that there was deficit of leadership in the sectors because rather than promote values, laws, systems and processes that could prevent corruption, they honoured corrupt people and defended them.
Alemika urged the government to use laws, agencies and enlightenment programmes to combat corruption, adding that there was need for approaches that won the heart of Nigerians about the imperative of fighting corruption.
He said that there was also need for citizens to internalise values of integrity, transparency and accountability in their personal behaviours and to demand same from others.
On his part, Executive Director of LSD, Dr Otive Igbuzor, said that there was deficit of credible leadership in the country, thus the reason the centre decided to engage in training the youths in that aspect.
Igbuzor said that the session began with 61 students comprising 41 females and 20 males, adding that 50 out the students had graduated.
He urged the students to go into the society and effect positive change as they began to champion the leadership course in their various spheres of influence.
One of the graduands, Mr Alaba Adekunle, commended the centre for the training, saying that they were taught what it took to be good leaders and servant leaders.
“That is the impact we are taking away from this training and we will go out there and be faithful servants,” he said