Corruption in Nigeria

Topics: Nigeria, Umaru Yar'Adua, Olusegun Obasanjo Pages: 35 (10092 words) Published: May 14, 2012

Anti-Corruption was the declared number one policy aim of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. The success of this policy was, however, for various reasons not too impressive. Obasanjo's successor, President Umaru Yar'Adua came to power promising to reform and continue the anti-corruption policy. But while the anti-graft agencies continued to arrest and arraign more individuals, including highly placed officials, for corruption, the general public expressed the view that the fight against corruption became increasingly inefficient under Yar'Adua. This paper shows that the positive measures taken by the Yar'Adua government were overshadowed by other observed lapses. The first one has been that the government was patronizing some ex-public officials accused of corruption by the EFCC, especially former governors, who played key roles in his election. Secondly, Yar'Adua also presided over the purge and persecution of popular anticorruption crusaders, especially Nuhu Rubadu, the former chairman of the EFCC. Thirdly, President Yar'Adu was not forceful enough, notably in his speeches, with his anti-corruption program. For the incoming administration, the paper recommends to make anti-corruption a strong priority and to reduce political intereference in the work of anti-corruption agencies.

Foreword “Nigerians agree that corruption in public life, which was pronounced under military rule, has reached alarmingly pandemic proportions, and should now be a matter of very serious and pressing public policy concern.” Unfortunately, the often-quoted statement by the Oputa Panel is still relevant today, many years after the drafting of the report. Corruption is recognized as a grave national problem. Virtually all sectors of policy and society are affected by it. It hampers or interrupts the delivery of basic services to the people, disrupts education and endangers the safety and security of every single citizen. Corruption is a problem in Nigeria, but not exclusively a Nigerian problem, as the involvement of foreign companies like the IOCs, infrastructure companies like Siemens or Halliburton, and the complicity of numerous foreign banks shows. However, only if decisive steps are taken by institutions of the Nigerian state can corruption be effectively battled. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is a German independent, non-profit organisation committed to the values of social democracy. We operate in Nigeria since 1974 and entertain offices in 1 Abuja and Lagos. Our main working areas are: Supporting democracy and its institutions, strengthening the Nigerian labour movement and worker‟s rights, and supporting the debate on Nigeria in international relations. Part of our mission is to supply quality analysis on timely subjects to strengthen a critical public assessment of pressing policy issues. We therefore initiated the “FES Discussion Paper” series, which will tackle timely and policy-relevant subjects. I am particularly glad to present this first Discussion Paper on “Anticorruption efforts under the Obasanjo and Yar‟Adua presidencies”, for which the David includes elections. recommendations The author,

incoming President, after the 2011 Enweremadu, takes a critical look at anticorruption policies under both past administrations. His assessment shows progress, but much work left to be done. More dedication and policy coherence is needed to buttress the fight against corruption. Specifically, after analyzing the anti-corruption policies of the past, the author suggests to: (1) Make anticorruption a top priority for any incoming government; (2) avoid any political interference into the work of anti-

corruption agencies and strengthen their operational capacity; and to (3) address the role of complimentary institutions besides the EFCC and ICPC in the fight against corruption. I recommend this policy paper to all who struggle for a corruption-free Nigeria,

specifically activists.


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