August 7, 2012 by Friday Olokor, Abuja
Independent Corrupt Practices and other-related offences Commission on Monday said over N300bn had been diverted overseas since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960.
The anti-graft body regretted that in spite of the crusade against corruption, more public money was still being stolen by corrupt officials.
The Chief Legal Officer of ICPC, Mr. Ebenezer Shogunle, said this in his paper entitled: ‘The Rudiments of the ICPC Act 2000’, at a sensitisation workshop organised by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency for its management staff and zonal coordinators on the significance of systems review in Abuja.
Quoting the World Bank, he said, “The exact cost in Naira of corruption to Nigeria is still uncertain but our fear is that it will continue to cause underdevelopment and create wider gaps between the rich and the poor. The World Bank estimates that more than N300bn has been diverted since 1960 till date. But that is money expected to come from outside.”
Shogunle lamented that the trend had continued and “Nigeria placed 40th most-corrupt country last year”.
He said, “Corruption is giving the country a serious embarassment and we are condoning corruption even in our places of worship when religious leaders pray over uncommon blessings-testimonies of miraculous financial gain with no proven legal sources.
“Our religious leaders don’t tell them to go and seek restitution as the Bible commands. But instead, we accept it, pray and life goes on.”
Shogunle therefore called for the establishment of desks to name and shame “gift givers” in public institutions as a means of clamping down on bureaucratic corruption.
Head of the anti-corruption unit in the NPHCDA, Lydia Okoronkwo, said a review of systems in Nigeria’s primary health care was to “identify those aspects that can likely be compromised by corruption.”
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