Devote funds, human resources to anti-corruption, Osinbajo tells African leaders

Written by on July 11, 2019

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, called on members of the African Union to devote funds and manpower to effectively combat corruption for the development of the continent.

Osinbajo, who was the keynote speaker at the commemoration of the 2019 African Union Anti-corruption Day in Abuja, noted that increased efforts to tackle corruption would enhance domestic resources of sustainable development goals through improved asset recovery and asset recalls.

The event, which had the theme ‘Towards a common African position on asset recovery’, was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.

Osinbajo said, “Despite the fact that the AU has undertaken various commendable regulatory instruments and established different institutions to combat corruption in Africa, the ugly trend continues unabated.“Through diverse practices, funds allocated for the provision of vital public services such as roads, health clinics and good schools are diverted, mismanaged and stolen.

“May I, at this juncture, call on member states to march onwards with action by devoting the required financial and human resources to the fight against the dreaded scourge of corruption that gives birth to unbridled looting of public funds and assets, thereby strengthening the existing anti-corruption institutions and organisations in eradicating corruption out of our African continent.”

According to the Vice President, corruption undermines African security, generates huge economic damage and violates human rights.

He added that there was a sense of urgency to the fight against corruption as failure to address corruption would inhibit sustainable long-term goals and undermines human development.

“The menace of corruption on the African continent is endemic as it negatively affects all aspects of people’s lives and those who suffer most are the vulnerable, the downtrodden, the less privileged, the poor and the marginalised.

“And to be more effective, all stakeholders, including governments and parliamentarian must take a more holistic, strategic and coordinated approach.

“This will thereby enhance domestic resources of sustainable development goals through improved asset recovery and asset recalls. Upon the discovery of these lethal threats of economic viability tackling corruption headlong has been a top priority programme of this present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari since its inception on May 29, 2015.”

Earlier, the Chairman of PACAC, Prof Itse Sagay (SAN), said the critical role of assets recovery in the fight against corruption was “greatly underrated by the general public and even more by the Nigerian elite.”

Sagay stated that loot recovery was, perhaps, the most effective way of fighting corruption.

He said, “It deprives the looter of the fruits of his criminal endeavour with all the attendant risks. This can result in depression, trauma, exposure, shame, poverty without any profit for the criminal endeavour.

“The procedure also increases the assets available for the state to prosecute its programme of good governance. A good example is Nigeria’s Social Investment Programme, which is funded 100 per cent on recovered assets.”



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