Dr. Oby Ezekwesili
The immediate past Vice-President of the World Bank for Africa, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Wednesday said countries that are neck deep in corruption can hardly transform and realise their plans for good governance.
Delivering a lecture on “Nigerian Tertiary Institutions of Learning- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Implications for National Transformation” with focus on “Do the Right Thing” at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Ezekwesili said it would be difficult for a corrupt country like Nigeria to transform overnight.
The former Minister of Education explained that whereas government was on the right course on its transformation agenda, the citizens still needed ethical orientation and attitudinal change to realise the goals of the programme as corruption was still eating deep into social fabric of the nation.
Ezekwesili identified corruption, ethnicity, religious bigotry, nepotism, electoral fraud as some of the factors militating against Nigeria’s development.
She therefore suggested that for the transformation agenda to work, Nigerians should be ready to turn a new leaf and be able to make sacrifices.
The programme which was convened by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) took place at the main auditorium of UNICAL saw many students turn out in large numbers to listen to the guest lecturer.
She advised students to imbibe the virtues of hard work, honesty, patriotism, respect to constituted authority, etc for the transformation of the society adding, “Make a change where you find yourself” and defined transformation to mean “a process of re-mapping to change to another level.”
Ezekwesili, who is the Senior Economic Adviser, Africa Economic Policy Development Initiative, Open Society Foundation, explained that corruption and poverty were twin sisters, noting that the vices had caused a lot of damages to the nation.
According to her, corrupt nations are less likely to transform than those with good governance and urged all to put words into action for the transformation of Nigeria.
Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, had harped on the need to evolve consensus on the nation’s core values, saying the “Do the Right Thing” campaign was aimed at transforming Nigeria.
On his part, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, had applauded the management and students of UNICAL for the tranquility and cleanliness of the institution.
“The values of society that we propagate our activities must be transparent. With Nigerian students working with NOA, the days of lamentation are over,” he said.