Radio Nigeria holds annual lecture — LIVE UPDATES

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, is holding its annual lecture today (Thursday).

The theme of the lecture, held at the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja, is “Fighting Corruption and Growing A Sustainable Economy”.

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, will chair the event, while a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Obadiah Mailafia, is the guest speaker.

Chairman of the organising committee, Mohammed Bello, said FRCN chose corruption as the topic of this year’s discuss, “coming against the backdrop of economic distress, recession and of course the crusade against the nation’s No. 1 evil- corruption, as well as the challenges posed by insurgency in the North East leading to the springing up of IDPa across the country”.

PREMIUM TIMES will be bringing love updates of the event.

Live Updates

10.23: Dignitaries have all arrived the venue and the event will start any moment from now.

Those in the House include the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Chairman of the occasion, Nuhu Ribadu, Guest speaker, Obadiah Mailafia, as well as the Director General of the FRCN, Mansur Liman.

The National Anthem and the second verse of the National Anthem have been rendered as an opener to the event.

10.30: Former DG of FRCN, Ben Igbuna, as well as other top management staff of Radio Nigeria are also present.

Also present is the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Usman.

The Director General of FRCN, Mansur Liman, will now present his welcome address.

10.44: Mansur Liman says the event is the 11th in the series of the Radio Nigeria annual lecture.

He said the annual event is to find solutions to find the various challenges Nigeria face as a country.

“We must tell ourselves the bitter truth, Nigeria is facing economic challenges,” he says, citing a PwC report that said by 2030 corruption could cost Nigeria up to 37% of its revenue.

Electing President Buhari shows that the average Nigerian has realised the dangers we face as a country, he says.

“The anti corruption of the administration has begun to yield result.

Magu said what was recovered within the last 8 months is lore than what was recovered in 12 years.

“We must join the fight against corruption in our different capacities and help diversify the economy of our country.”

11.32: Goodwill messages

DG VON- Osita Okechukwu

“We are now in a new Nigeria, led by a new Sheriff. Everyone should join the president in the new mission.

“We are going to borrow and the good thing is that the creditors are relying on his integrity. Nigerians should also rely on that.

Ben Egbuna Former FRCN DG

“The subject of discuss is interesting to me because it was the subject of my dissertation at NIPSS.

Governments in the past have been paying lip service to the fight against corruption.

Corruption fight should go beyond judiciary.

“How many cases have been successfully concluded in Courts. Now we know part of the problem is the judiciary.

“The prosecutors should also be examined. At times the prosecutors are prosecuting to fail.

“EFCC should look at those it contracts to prosecute its cases.”

Samson Shuaibu Former FRCN DG

“We are in a change environment. Regardless of party affiliations, tribe or religion. If anything has destroyed this nation, it is corruption.

If we want this nation to be alive again, we must all rise up and fight corruption headlong. We cannot do that through rationalization of approaches of fighting corruption.

“War against corruption is a war against a draconian enemy and it must be fought without emotions.”

Ibrahim Damisa Rep DG NTA.

“The Radio Nigeria lecture series have become an avenue for derivation of knowledge.

It is good that the government has restored History to our school. Civics should also be returned.”

Police Commissioner, FCT, Mohammed Mustafa

“Corruption is one of the serious ills of the society. It is time for inner reflection and stock-taking,” he says. “If we all decide to fight corruption head-on, our problems will be over.”

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed

“More than ever before Nigerians have come to see corruption as major impediment to the progress of Nigeria.

Corruption stifles economic growth,” he says.

“In a country with high level of corruption, there is low economic growth and high level of poverty.

“Corruption is much more than missing money; it is about people’s lives.

“This administration will not relent in its effort to tackle corruption. It is committed to ridding the country of corruption

“If the government does not kill corruption it can kill Nigeria.”

12.21: Guest Speaker Obadiah Mailafia

Traditional and religious institutions, the medical sector are perhaps some of the worst kinds of corruption.

The media is also affected. Standards have fallen abysmally.

Media proprietors take pride in not paying their staff. They encourage them into going into the brown envelope syndrome with no respect to standards.

Some of our lawyers are more like liars than lawyers.

Judges? A lot of noise is being made about the raid on houses of some of our judges at unholy hours.

I am inclined to go with the rule of law but that is probably the only way to get these guys.

There are times that one has to use extraordinary methods to get results. But we are in a democracy and must do everything according to the rule of law.

Some persons believe that Nigerians are naturally born corrupt. That is not true.

Nigerian Public Service in the past had people great intellect and integrity.

Corruption is not a Nigerian. It is not in our DNA.

Nigeria also produced great lawyers with world stature.

Sadly we don’t such persons anymore.

Many factors account for the rampant and terrible disease of corruption in Nigeria.

Some say globalisation made people to acquire the bad habits of others across the borders.

Another factor is the loss of traditional values.

As a child I lived with my grandparents. It was like paradise.

It was a well ordered society. They lived long by never taking what is not theirs.

Today corruption begins from the home.

We face a crisis of morality and family. The rate of divorce in Kano is one of the highest in the whole of Africa.

Broken homes produce frustrated individuals who often take it out on society.

It is a global malady infecting high and low, rich and poor.

Although much attention is focused on the public sector, the reality is that corruption pervades the private sector.

A bank MD stole depositors funds over a trillion naira over a decade ago. She had to be reminded how much she was worth. I don’t think there is any politician who doesn’t know how much he has.

Multibillion projects were undermined largely due to corruption.

No corruption is big or small. No spiritual distinction between a small or big sin. A sin is a sin and the same can be said about corruption.

A small one if allowed can grow to infect the whole society.

According to the World Bank, corruption costs developing countries over $1.26 trillion.

Africa loses $100 billion; enough to finance all deficit infrastructure.

Without corruption, our leaders do not need to go to the developed world to look for funding.

Africans are said to have over $700-800 billion dollars in developed nations’ banks.

Nigerians alone have $200 billion. Most of these monies will never come back.

Nigeria can consider a measure adopted by Italy in the past by granting amnesty to those willing to return their monies back.

In this era of dollar scarcity. It will be a big boost to the nations’ economy.

According to Chatham House Nigeria was losing over a billion dollars every month between 2007 and 2014 on the theft of crude oil alone.

Marshalling the courage to tackle corruption will restore the nation’s image and give us the moral regeneration that we so badly needed.

The same country mistreating Nigerians in the name of corruption are the same ones responding to the messages of Yahoo Yahoo boys due to greed.

As the VP recently said, all the arms of corruption are corrupt. Actually all institutions are actually corrupt.

Universities have become a den of iniquities. Lecturers abuse female students, admissions and Degrees are sold while cultism and others abound.

12.54: “Most of our youth have lost hope on our nation and are scheming ways to leave this country often into dehumanizing circumstance.

What the current government is doing on corruption should be supported by all. It is a revolution.

If you fight corruption, it will fight you. That is nature of the beast that we are up against.

Fighting corruption is also not a substitute for economic policy. The two must be done together.

Without peace and harmony, nothing good will come.

We are succeeding in tackling insurgency but the Avengers and so called herdsmen are there.

If you can’t keep law and order nothing good will happen.

Buhari is a statesman of destiny.

God does not make mistake. He has way of choosing leaders for a time like this.

He is in charge. He needs the support of all people who love this country.

He is incorruptible but he has a lot to do in the area of economy.

I have not seen a clear road map on the way out of our economic challenges and the people are suffering.

12.59: Aminu Yusuf Usman from Kaduna state University is now discussing the paper presented by Mr. Mailafia.

He says:

This administration came with three agenda: Security, Corruption and Economy.

There is a clear strategy on security and corruption.

There is nothing in place economically. It is not receiving adequate attention.

The government came in and was very slow even though it knew the kind of economy it inherited.

One year was lost before the economy began to receive attention that is why we are where we are.

There is nothing today concretely about targets for the economy. Something needs to be done.

The government is in a position to do something because of the goodwill it enjoys.

That can be done by keying in with states and local governments in the economic management strategy.

People are now saying if the government cannot allow some level of corruption we will all die and that is the perception of the common man.

The government has only three and a half years and it will be accessed by the common man on how the quality of their lives improved nit how many persons are jailed.

Government has to work on the economy because its success in 2015 has shown that a government in power can be defeated.

Foreign Investors will have confidence to invest in Nigeria if Nigerians are investing Nigeria.

The government should also curtail fighting corruption in the media.

13.09: Effiom Effiom, representative of NBA President, is giving goodwill message.

He says:

“The NBA supports the fight against corruption.

It also recognizes that there are corrupt judges and lawyers, but not as is being presented.

Fight against corruption must be institutionally driven.

Government is not just the executive, but includes legislature and judiciary and they all have important functions.

Economy cannot grow in in unstable society and judiciary plays a key role in the stability of a society.

High Court laws make provisions that a judge cannot be sued over a matter he is handling.

We should not encourage the Cow Boy approach to the fight against corruption.

13.12: Professor Femi Odekunle, representing the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption speaks:

Our mandate is to coordinate the anti-corruption agenda of the Buhari administration.

Historically, no society is free of corruption but in Nigeria it is endemic and systemic.

Only few people are benefiting from corruption and it is to the detriment of their grandchildren.

The consequence is that we have a war that must be fought.

If you know the things I know, you will carry a gun and just shoot some people and face the consequences.
What DSS did in the raid of judges’ residence is correct.

Humongous amount of money were found in judges houses as if they were bank vaults.
It is a shame that NJC allowed the judges to resume.

It is only on matters of corruption that they remember the rule of law.

NJC cannot act because a good number of them are potential arrestees.

Most lawyers and judges are good.

But is the NJC and NBA fighting for the rule of law or rule of lawyers.

Radio Nigeria must be at the forefront to not only propagate but do propaganda for good by naming and shaming people who are corrupt.

Tell the government to revoke the national honour on those who are corrupt.

You must tell the truth to power.

If we are to truly fighting corruption we must go as far back as possible.

Pick two persons starting from the regime of Babangida and then take 100 from Jonathan.

Radio Nigeria tell Buhari that there are many more rivers to cross and not just singing his praise.

If he can finish this corruption fight 10 years from now they will be singing his praise.

13.18: Mr. Ribadu gives closing remarks:

Thanks everyone especially the speakers.

It is good to hear from both sides.

It is good that the NBA is here and the Prof. responded on the side of Nigerians.

Even in war we have what we call collateral damage which sometimes is acceptable.

It is good that the president is working to make sure that things work in this country.

We need to change things.

We are not totally off the track. The fight against corruption will rub off on the economy.

The event has come to an end. Thanks for being a part of it.

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