It is no longer news that there are so many problems confronting Nigeria as a country, most of which President Muhammadu Buhari have attributed to the corruption in the system. Across the country, poverty continues to ravage the people, unemployment is rampant among youths, there is lack of adequate medical care; and there is hooliganism and general discontentment among the people, which are all traceable to corruption.
For the first time in our history, a president has undertaken to confront the menace of corruption headlong, and there is no doubt that ultimately the derivable benefits will not only impact on the generality of Nigerians, but will help jumpstart all sectors of the nation’s economy.
Therefore, it is in our collective interest that the war against corruption succeeds, more so when issues relating to social and economic development are addressed. For example, corruption is the reason many sick Nigerians cannot afford access to quality medical attention. The high rate of beggars on our streets is also a by-product of corruption. Our general underdevelopment in terms of infrastructural decay, unemployment and general lack among the people are concomitant effects of corruption.
There is no doubt that if corruption is eliminated from our national life, more resources will be released and made available towards ameliorating the needs of the generality of our people.
The timely intervention of President Buhari’s administration to tackle the cankerworm of corruption has the potential to restore order in the polity. The point has been made that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us, and all the negative economic indices such as hunger, sickness, malnutrition, graduate unemployment which are products of corruption will continue to plague us.
With the level of impunity witnessed under the previous PDP administrations, no one was left in doubt that it was only a matter of time before corruption would undermine all our efforts at national development.
Our readiness to run an integrity-based, transparent and global best practices economy will go a long way towards stimulating our economic growth, and attract much needed foreign direct investments.
In line with his avowed commitment to Nigeria’s economic recovery, President Buhari during his recent state visit to France was able to meet with over three hundred business people, who are potential investors in Nigeria. His personal commitment to create an enabling environment for foreign investors in Nigeria has gone a long way to boost investors’ confidence in the country.
Other areas that a successful fight against corruption will have on the economy include the provision of affordable housing, water, electricity and abundant food supply, among others. In summation, the fight against graft will have multipliers in the nation’s economy and the ultimate beneficiaries will be ordinary Nigerians.
In an isolated case, it can be confidently stated here that Igbos will be the ultimate beneficiaries of President Buhari’s anti-graft war, considering that they are competitive in nature, and will thrive in any economy bereft of corruption. President Buhari’s tough stance in the fight against corruption, notwithstanding the personality involved, is the elixir required to eliminate the menace, as the greatest impediment in the past has been the lack of political will on the part of the authorities.
Over the years, corruption has retarded the progress of the country, and no sane society can continue in that direction. The high infrastructural decay across the country is also attributed to corruption. The effects of road accidents which lead to destruction of lives and properties are also the negative impacts of corruption.
As a people, we need to build a new Nigeria founded on a solid foundation, not quicksand. It is illusionary to believe that foreign investors will risk their hard-earned capital in an economy infested with corruption and inefficiency.
President Buhari possesses the requisite knowledge and experience given his pedigree to arrest the downward slide of our country. Apart from experience, he has the tenacity, discipline and courage to make Nigeria work again for the good of all.
While it is expected that some detractors will try to undermine the efforts of this administration in restoring the country to the path of rectitude, yet it is incumbent on all Nigerians to support the administration to avoid any derailment.
In all climes and in critical periods, some gifted leaders are naturally thrown up, and in the case of Nigeria things had come to a head as corruption and impurity had permeated the system. With the “change” agenda of the APC-led administration, Nigeria is once more on an irreversible progress, and the least we can do as a people is to cooperate with President Buhari’s administration in realising the Nigeria of our dream.
The government intervention in not sparing any corrupt practice is not only timely but desirable. With the falling oil prices, it will amount to insensitivity on the part of government not to plug all the loopholes from where public funds are usually siphoned.
Already we are beginning to witness an improvement in the fight against graft. For instance, the federal government directive to all ministries, departments and agencies to operate a Treasury Single Account (TSA) has led to the streamlining of the over 20,000 government accounts spread in most commercial banks. Obviously, this system became an avenue for massive corruption with the direct effect that monies that ordinarily should be utilised in executing important government projects are mismanaged.
For the expected infrastructural and general economic development to take place, we must as a nation straighten the institutions of government, eliminate loopholes and hold public officials accountable. This is what the administration of “Mai Gaskiya” offers.
Chukwudi Enekwechi, Journalist and Politician writes from Abuja