The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged Africa leaders to join forces in fighting corruption in all its ramifications to accelerate development on the continent.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC president stated this in a statement to mark the Africa Union Anti-Corruption Day with the theme: ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to African Development.’
According to him, this has become necessary in order for all to confront corruption for the development of the continent.
“We believe that corruption is a monster that must be confronted head-long if Africa is to make any headway or be taken seriously in the comity of nations.
“For us, this fight must go beyond the symbolism of marking the day to demonstrable commitment by leaders of African countries and other office holders.
“Corruption is a reprehensible crime that should be stamped out,” he said.
Wabba said that corruption remained the most pressing concern of governance and development challenge confronting Africa.
He added that corruption, in several ways, has continued to arrest growth and development, creating in the process situations of unacceptable unemployment and infrastructural decay.
Wabba also noted that others are collapsed energy systems and capacities, massive production deficits and near absence of social justice.
The NLC president said corruption has also created situations of strife or exacerbated them as was the case with the Boko Haram insurgency under the previous governments.
“Thus, it is clearly evident that the high incidence of corruption in Africa represents a direct threat to its progress, stability and well-being.
“We find it heartening that AU has not only recognised the enormity of this problem, but has set aside a day as a perpetual reminder and symbol of the fight against corruption,” he said.
Wabba also said that NLC has organied sensitisation workshops and has also called for special anti-corruption courts and imposition of capital punishment for serious corruption cases.
He, however, said the Thabo Mbeki report on Illicit Financial Flows in Africa has clearly revealed that humongous corruption goes on in both public and private sector-settings.
According to him, this underscores not just the severity of the incidence of corruption; it presents a picture of hopelessness of the African condition.
“But we need not despair if we are determined or committed to deal with corruption.
“It is on this note that we at the NLC enjoin all those who want to see a new Africa to rise with one accord and fight corruption today.
“That is African leaders, multi-nationals, Western Financial Institutions, all of us,” he added.