By Alice Ekpang, Abuja
Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has identified corruption as the most potent factor responsible for rising security challenges in the country.
Owasanoye stated this while delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of a capacity-building workshop for the House of Representatives’ Committee on Anti-Corruption with the theme, “The role of the legislature in the fight against corruption” organized by a German foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in partnership with the House Committee on Anti-Corruption.
Owasanoye noted that proper legislature, appropriation, oversight and scrutiny of public accounts would have prevented the drift into the kind of insecurity that presently engulfs the nation.
He said: “Through legislation, appropriation, investigation, oversight and the scrutiny of public accounts, the legislature implements a very crucial fundamental objective in fighting corruption of power and also by doing so, it prevents the drift into the kind of insecurity that we have found ourselves in.
“Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest challenge and a singular push factor of national security challenges, the expansion of poverty, the reduction of life expectancy, the high mortality rate we suffer and the deteriorated livelihood experienced by our citizens.
He added that graft has also diminished the promotion and standing of democratic institutions and national accountability which has promoted the creation of unnecessary projects, and the funding of such, thus diminishing the funding of the necessary projects and to see them to completion.
Owasanoye emphasized that the role of the legislature ultimately is to ensure that “we do not go in that direction but to keep us on the path of restitution by promotion of good governance through their legislative process.
“Now the big question and the elephant in the room is how well has the legislature played this role over the years? There is a perception out there that the legislature is rather reactive, trying to put out fires rather than preventing the fires from going out and sometimes dramatic in its approach to oversight functions.”