…says 2022 budget padding raises red flag

By Gabriel Ewepu

AS Nigeria finds herself in a mess of frightening corruption, a Civil Society, Organisation, CSO, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Thursday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to put in more effort on corruption war to salvage situation.

The Executive Director, ANEEJ, David Ugolor, made the call in a statement, where Ugolor tasked Buhari to carry out a major surgery of his administration’s approach with a view to revving the engines of the war against corruption.

According to him it appears the Buhari-led administration is losing steam with rising impunity in public sector corruption, which he said a lot still needs to be done to deal with institutional corruption in the public sector.

However, he also alleged that recently there was padding of 2022 budgets by some Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, as exposed by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, which also raises red flag.

The ANEEJ boss called on Nigerians to urgently take up their responsibility in fighting corruption, especially for their children and children unborn.

2021 International Anti-Corruption Day theme is ‘Your Right, Your Role, Say No to Corruption’.

He said: “Poverty is worsening and insecurity is growing all of which are traceable to the plundering of the nation’s resources over the years since independence and the current generation has a duty to ensure a reversal of the status quo for the benefit of the upcoming generation.

“The private sector also has their roles to play. Even ordinary citizens need to play their roles by saying no to corruption in their own little corners.

“We must kick petty corruption out of Nigeria, because any man who goes to equity much show up with clean hands” the anti-corruption expert emphasized.”

According to him, the Nation’s Anti-Corruption Strategy which guides Stakeholders’ Participation expired on July 5, 2021, and urged the federal government to put machinery in place to review the expired strategy without any further delay.

“The review should commence now so that stakeholders can come together to carry out a SWAT analysis of what has worked and what has not worked well in the nation’s anti-corruption strategy and see what new measures can be introduced”, he added.
However, the ANEEJ boss acknowledged that some successes have been recorded in the war against corruption, particularly in the area of asset recovery and management as well as identification, and arrest and prosecution of suspects.

He also called on other CSOs in the fight against anti-corruption to deepen advocacy for good governance in levels of governance, while lamenting that corruption has remained a major obstacle to the nation’s development in spite of stakeholders’ efforts thus far, and that the war cannot be fought by government alone.

“As Civil Society, we must close ranks, build alliances at this time in our history as a nation to join forces with government to combat graft”, he said.

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