With unrestrainable consternation, Nigerians of all shades received news of the corruption allegations against the Accountant-General of the Federation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The supposed ‘Accountability General’ – now suspended – allegedly laundered N80 billion through fake contracts to companies linked to his family members, etc. perfecting a way to swindle the entire country.
As though that was not enough, the EFCC caught on their web and ex-Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over N47 billion fraud he allegedly committed while in charge of the institution that was supposed to take care of the geese that are laying the golden eggs in Nigeria. His case joins a host of others in the annals of corrupt practices perpetrated by NDDC bosses. The commission has been rendered oppositional to its founding missions. The state of affairs could be gleaned from about 13,000 reportedly abandoned projects revealed by an audit sanctioned by the presidency.
Given the aforementioned and other large-scale looting of public resources, it is not surprising that Nigeria – despite all its endowments – is already running the government with a huge financial deficit while critical sectors, institutions, and the masses bare the full brunt of a poor economy. Undoubtedly, the Nigerian State is going into a leadership/corruption-induced coma as it fails to deliver its critical mandates.
Interestingly, taking the rising debt profile of the most populous African nation into consideration amid massive looting of public funds across all branches and levels of government, how the Nigerian masses seem to move on with their lives despite the severe hardship is still a mystery. Yet it is getting more evident than ever before that if Nigeria fails to get rid of corruption as soon as possible, corruption will soon get rid of Nigeria.
As the country’s survival is now at stake, Nigerians must actively demand transparency and accountability from their public officials. Stories of how a government institution fails to remit surpluses for years properly, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria was alleged in 2021, should be made a thing of the past by ensuring all institutions and public officials are accountable to the people as to when due. The media must also break free of their shackles and perform their watchdog role through investigative reporting.
In the war against this malignant cankerworm which has eaten into the fabric of the Nigerian society, no effort can be spared. Nigerians must fight corruption in their homes, communities, local governments, states and the country at large lest all would be lost.