By Chimezie Godfrey
The MacArthur Foundation has expressed dismay over how corrupt politicians in Nigeria wasted N60trillion budgeted for the development of the country since 1999 till 2018.
The Country Director of the foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima made the disclosure Thursday in Abuja during the public presentation of the book, “Nigeria: Corruption and Opacity in Governance,” authored by Mr. Jide Ojo a public affairs analyst.
Shettima, represented by the Foundation’s Deputy Country Director, Olaide Oladayo pointed out that corruption remains the country’s biggest challenge since 1999 till now.
“Between 1999 and 2018, Nigeria budgeted more than N60trn, the managers are politicians and not development partners.
“And we have asked what has happened to the N60trn budgeted for Nigerian public and this is just one federal level,” he said.
Shettima also said that it is risky fighting corruption in Nigeria as those involved will mobilise resources to obstruct it.
He stressed that many people now find it difficult to condemn them or even come out in the fight against corruption.
According to him, a significant percentage of Nigerians have shown interest in the fight against corruption, adding that what that seems to suggest is that a lot of Nigerians when it is their turn to benefit they don’t talk.
The Author of the book, Mr. Jide Ojo in his remark said the reason for the country’s inability to match the rest of the world is due to lack of accountability.
He disclosed that the panacea to the country’s underdevelopment can be found in its ability to tackle corruption by ensuring accountability.
“No matter the blame game we do it is not going to solve the problem. Even if our budget increased ten folds and we don’t solve the problem of corruption, it will be like pouring water in a basket,” he said.
The Director General, Technical Aid Corps, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi blamed the country’s corruption challenges on neo-colonialism.
“President Buhari has taken anti-corruption to a level that he is trying to make it one of the economic policies to be able to see that indeed we are able to recover as much as we could recover to be able to emancipate the people,”he said.
(With reports by Daily Trust)