12 ways Nigeria can tackle endemic corruption – Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu Adamawa 2015 (5)

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday said Nigeria should invest more in education in order to curb corruption in the country.

Mr. Ribadu said if people were better educated, their ability to filter right from wrongdoing would attain an appreciable level.

“Education is important to this process. Citizens need to be sufficiently educated to be able to sieve right from the wrongs and demand for what is right,” Mr. Ribadu said.

The observation was amongst the 12 recommendations Mr. Ribadu proposed to solving Nigeria’s endemic corruption when he spoke at the 2016 Annual National Management Conference organised by the National Institute of Management (Chartered) in Abuja.

Mr. Ribadu, who spoke on the theme: ‘Minimizing Corruption in Public Life’, decried the pervasive graft in Nigeria and said the time to address the scourge is now.

“The big question is, how do we tackle corruption and minimize its cancerous spread on this our ladder that is public life? How do we stop the termites from eating off the parts that make up this ladder, that may stop our country from ascending to the Eldorado of progress?” Mr Ribadu said.

Education has remained a major concern for Nigeria, with UNICEF finding over 40 per cent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 out of school.

Mr. Ribadu also used his speech to urge transparency, saying an opaque public service is undesirable as it encourages corruption.

“Transparency should be the keyword in all government businesses; from budgeting to award of contracts and even employment. Lack of transparency is the first thing that sows the seed of corruption.”

“Honesty has to be lifted to the position of a prized and rewarding national value. Criminals should not be celebrated as heroes on account of their wealth.

“All government expenditures should be budgeted. Extra-budgetary spending should be criminalised and security votes should be completely phased out,” Mr. Ribadu said.

The 12 recommendations, which include a proposal on cash transactions, subsidies and deployment of technology for efficient procurement in the public service, are listed as follows.

  • Leadership is essential. Leadership at all levels should be beyond reproach to provide the needed example. There should also be the will to apply the sanctions. As I have pointed out several times, lack of will by the political leadership to prosecute the war against corruption takes us to nowhere. The political leadership should be determined and it should be seen to be serious about it.
  • Honesty has to be lifted to the position of a prized and rewarding national value. Criminals should not be celebrated as heroes on account of their wealth.
  • All government expenditures should be budgeted. Extra-budgetary spending should be criminalised and security votes should be completely phased out.
  • Transparency should be the keyword in all government businesses; from budgeting to award of contracts and even employment. Lack of transparency is the first thing that sows the seed of corruption.
  • Smart technology should be deployed in procurement process to give room for transparent and accountable system of doing business.
  • Cash transactions should be completely abolished or minimized as much as possible. With electronic movements of cash everything could be within watch and can be tracked.
  • We should weed out corruption in our electoral process. If corruption thrives in the way leaders are brought to offices, we are indirectly bringing corrupt people to power and thus perpetuating corruption.
  • The civil society and the media should be encouraged to be very vigilant and honest watchdogs of all systems. Whistle-blowers must be encouraged and protected.
  • Red tapes and administrative bottlenecks in the bureaucracy should be tackled. Reducing unnecessary process will cut down tendencies of corruption as people need not to bypass established rules to accomplish any task.
  • Subsidies should be phased out by the government to stop all the haemorrhage and abuse. As a discretionary intervention, subsidies on whatever service or product is very much prone to corruption by both the beneficiaries and those managing it, as we have seen with petroleum subsidy in this country.
  • Education is important to this process. Citizens need to be sufficiently educated to be able to sieve right from the wrongs and demand for what is right.
  • Lastly, at the root of achieving all these is a resolve by all Nigerians individually and collectively to not compromise. We must resolve to shun corruption entirely by taking a stand that ‘I will not take bribe again’ no matter the consequences. Time will come when there will be no takers!

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Pat

    In addition to Ribadu’s points is making religion a personal thing rather than state issue. Nigerians need to see one another, first as fellow humans and Nigerians, not in the light of religion differences. The corrupt Nigerian leaders have identified religion as a tool to divide, rule and defraud Nigerians and go scored free. This leaders are not faithful to their professing faiths but are using it as means of drawing peoples’ sympathy to themselves in other to continue their atrocities against the country. Another point is like religion, which is ethnicity and tribalism. This rouges in politics have perfected how to use this in their favor by manipulating peoples’ orientation. Meanwhile, they are cut across all geopolitical zones in Nigeria. We the masses have to deliver ourselves from them by dealing with real issues of common interest objectively rather than being religion/ethnic sentimental.

    • un spkn

      That divide only exist among poor and unemployed, The rich and comfortable dont see tribe or religion. Trust me

      • Pat

        Who are the rich? What percentage of the country are they? Just try to review the comments of people on issues and see ethnic, tribal and religion sentiments driving their comments. I can never trust you on this one, I’m sorry.

  • Abah of Ipolo

    Chief Ribadu , if education is the key we wouldn’t be hearing of ghost aids and cheating the aids by the so-called honourables. Our judicial system should be overhauled and empowered to execute speedy judgements and jail corrupt people. Plea bargain, wherever it came from, should be completely discarded. We need no much of words on how to deal with corruption.

    • Okokondem

      I am in complete agreement with you. What the country needs is the will to prosecute those who violated the law.

      Punishment for members of the judiciary found to be compromised should be harsher than everyone else because of their role in the society as the last arbiter.

      Ever heard of any high profile looter in Nigeria who didn’t find a way to flout the law by tying the legal system into knots.

      Ribadu’s prescription for fighting corruption is falls short. It is full of platitudes. Is he suggesting those engaging in budget padding lack formal education. Those who would divert funds for road construction are not educated?

      Enforce the laws.

    • un spkn

      I completely agree. The Judicial system should be overhauled. I think it has now become obvious we need a little military element here. Else this democracy wont work. d judicial system should be cleared.

  • Alhaji

    We need a severe law that will discourage stealing, corruption and looting. For example if Babangida and the rest of alhajis know that they are going to serve at least 900000 years in jail without option of fines, they will not steal, because they know they will not enjoy the money. If we don’t have tough law for them no matter how educated they may be, they will still steal.

    • GusO

      Good point! Long jail terms is the only way to discourage corruption anywhere. Countries free of egregious corruption employ long jail terms to discourage it. However, the role of the national assembly is to make such laws specifically to discourage massive economic looting of tax payer and national wealth funds. Unluckily for the nation, the Assembly is occupied by former state governors and Federal ministers who looted and continue to loot the funds with impunity. We must find ways to throw them out to save the nation. Otherwise, we will be in this same place for a long time. The corrupt politicians must lose the next elections.

  • AFRICANER

    Ribadu is talking pure nonsense!

    There was an article earlier part of the year that identified the 4 types of corruption in Nigeria, and how to ameliorate them.

    Ribadu’s cliche-ish academic diatribe belongs in the garbage bin.

    Nigeria must RESPECT her citizens by providing adequate infrastructure, deliver equal justice for all, provide security, job’s, and bring itself into the 21st Century, make it easier to access basic needs and opportunities than going the corrupt route; as far as merit is not the metric of measure, but rather elites, soldiers, and recycled failed politicians, from ‘royal’ families such as Ribadu, then Nigeria will remain a useless place.

    Look for the awesome article that I referenced above for real analysis and recommendations.

    • un spkn

      And how does Nigeria do that when your state govs and senators who they allocate your welfare money to, to give to u in invest in u r more interested in looting the money to london, securing life time pensions for themselves and then seeking immunity from trial?

  • Realitytalk

    Oga, the president is well aware about all this issues and he will surely make the nation great, i can tell you that