…says Insecurity in Northern Nigeria, driven by Corruption
…says Bureaucrats are more corrupt than Politicians, they assist Politicians to Steal
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- CHAIRMAN, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, yesterday described the insecurity challenge in the northern part of the country as that which is driven by corruption, saying that to nip it in the bud, appropriations must be used positively.
Speaking yesterday on the last day of the induction course for the second batch of Senators and members of the House of Representatives -elect, the ICPC Chairman also took a swipe at the bureaucrats, saying they are more corrupt that politicians and teach politicians how to steal.
Owasanoye who spoke on the topic, ” The Role of the Legislature in the War Against Corruption and Graft, also lampooned members of the National Assembly, alleging that usually compromise their major constitutional functions of oversight and investigation.
The ICPC chairman said as a result of the comprise, which comes through commercialisation of their activities, the lawmakers lack the will to carry out their constitutional roles.
Prof Owasanoye said, “We should avoid a situation where because people are being investigated, they come to say they want to change the laws to forestall that. I want to urge the lawmakers not to support that.
“Oversight function has been commercialised, which is why the mechanism hasn’t been effective. Legislature is accused of passing the costs to MDAs and of accepting other forms of gratification, eg foreign trips, phoney seminars, etc to look the other way.
“The Legislature has powers of investigation: this was very well utilised in the past. But many other times, the power is commercialised. You find out that the investigators become compromised in the process. There’s lacuna on what the legislature should do with the findings.”
Speaking further, the ICPC Chaiman who also challenged the lawmakers to make the details of their budget public, “Since 1999, the Nigerian Legislature has never shown any seriousness in scrutinising the reports of the auditor general. NASS Budget rose from N6.9bn in 1999 to N139bn in 2018.
“There’s no country in the world where the legislature budget is up to one percent. But the question is there’s no breakdown for the amount. It is opaque and disproportionate. If you make the details, it may even lead to the need for more funds. Why would the legislature demand the details of agencies’ budgets without making its own open