Economy Won’t Recover Without Fighting Corruption, Says Lai Mohammed

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Olawale Ajimotokan
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has called for the fight against corruption to be intensified for government’s effort to resuscitate the country’s ailing economy to bear fruits.

The minister made this submission while speaking yesterday at the 2016 annual lecture of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Abuja with the topic ‘’Fighting Corruption and Growing a Sustainable Nigerian Economy.’’

Mohammed said the launching of a social reorientation campaign against corruption early this year was to alert Nigerians to the evils of corruption and to carry them along in the efforts by the government to tackle the menace.

The minister said there was a direct correlation between corruption and
economic growth, noting that corruption stifles economic growth in many ways, including by discouraging foreign investment, reducing tax revenue and preventing infrastructural development.

‘’In other words, in countries where you have a high level of corruption, there is reduced economic growth and, of course, higher poverty level. That’s why the Berlin-based global civil society
organisation, Transparency International, said corruption, especially public sector corruption, is about so much more than missing money. It’s about people’s lives.

‘’It is therefore not a surprise that the countries that have consistently scored high marks in the Annual Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International are also the countries that have
also managed to grow a sustainable economy,’’ he said. Mohammed said government would not relent in its efforts to tackle the menace of corruption to a standstill corruption having recognized it is the biggest threat to the economic and political development of any
country.

He said: ‘’We are very much aware that the fight against corruption will not be easy. Fighting entrenched corruption can sometimes be a very lonely road to travel in our part of the world where a true community of genuine corruption fighters is assailed from every side by unwary recruits of the looters among us, in our communities, places of work and worship. We also know that corruption is fighting back, fast and furiously.
But with uncommon commitment and determination, we will win the war against corruption. The Buhari administration since its inauguration has left no one in doubt regarding its commitment to ridding Nigeria of corruption as captured poignantly in President Buhari’s statement that if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.’’