By Emma Una
CALABAR— PROFESSOR Isah Raddah, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has said that most of those stealing the nation’s resources are not poor but rich and well placed people who are taking advantage of their positions to make more money at the expense of the majority of Nigerians.
Raddah in Calabar, Cross River State, yesterday at a citizens enlightenment programme on the fight against corruption listed such class people as ministers, governors, council chairmen, bank managers and top government officials who have access to public funds.
He said, “There is a correlation between poverty and corruption because what is meant for road construction, railway projects, education, healthcare and airport improvement is taken away by a few people to become very rich and in such situation majority of those whose welfare would have been improved by such projects become worse off.
“If N1million is budgeted for 1,000 people and there is corruption, only 100 people may get it and the rest is left to suffer and because they are angry, they take to kidnappings, armed robbery, militancy, terrorism, so corruption does no one any no good except the corrupt. “Corruption is not only at the federal level but also at the state, local and award level s because 50 percent of resources are allocated to the states and third tier of government and most times, such monies get stolen or is misappropriated, so we have to make sure everything is done to monitor those at the local government level.”
He stated that the committee was partnering Nigerian Union of local Government Employees NULGE, and Association of Local Government Chairmen, ALGON, along with traditional rulers to make sure that the recent decision by the Federal Government to send local government allocation to the councils accounts is followed and such funds properly used for development by those at that level of government.
“We are not saying there may be no stealing at that tier of government but if N1,000 is sent down there, N900 should be used for the people and not wholly stolen by those in authority,” he added.