The group says the country has been devastated by missing $400 billion of public funds
A group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has said President Goodluck Jonathan was wrong to say corruption is not the cause of the myriads of problems in Africa.
Mr. Jonathan, at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had said “corruption was not the cause of all the problems confronting Africa.”
“In terms of security, Boko Haram is the biggest challenge we (Nigeria) have at the moment,” the President had said.
In a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, on Thursday, SERAP said by the remark, Mr. Jonathan showed clearly that his administration has not come to term with the reality of massive corruption at the highest level of government, and the devastation and suffering it had caused millions of innocent Nigerians.
It said the evidence of corruption and underdevelopment stares the government in the face and that staying silent or simply wishing the problem away could not be the way forward. “What more will it take to convince the president that corruption is this country’s biggest problem, and that effective action is urgently required to end it, and address impunity of perpetrators?” the group asked.
“Hospitals without drugs, bad roads, poor electricity supply, contaminated and undrinkable water, collapsed educational system alone provide strong evidence of the devastation that missing $400 billion of public funds have done to this country.
“That this amount is missing has been confirmed by both the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes and House of Representatives reports.”
SERAP noted that these indicators of bad governance and mismanagement of the country’s natural wealth and resources should serve as proof of the need for this government to put the fight against corruption at the very top of its agenda.
It stated that anyone with a simple knowledge of Nigeria would know that the root cause of insecurity and Boko Haram was the decades of corruption and impunity of perpetrators, and failure of successive governments to provide quality education to Nigerian children.
The group said, “The damage that corruption had done to Nigeria was nearly impossible to describe.
“What millions of suffering Nigerians need from this government is a clear commitment to recover the over $400 billion missing public funds and to spend this to achieve sustainable development and respect for basic socio-economic rights of Nigerians.”