Can the National Assembly Boost the Anti-corruption War?

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With the new era of whistle-blowing against looters and official corruption and huge sums of both local and foreign currencies being found in hidden caches around Nigeria, some analysts are suggesting that the honourable members of the House of Representatives and the Senate should also stand up to be counted and become actively involved in the war against corruption, which is a focal point of the current administration. In your own view, how can the legislators, especially at the national level, best contribute their own quota to a successful war against corruption in the country?

 ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* The National Assembly should speedily pass those bills that will halt the looting of public funds. Secondly they should enact laws that will protect the Nigerian consumer and economy from unscrupulous businessmen and traders who are extorting the people and destroying the economy. Laws to bring regulation to every sector of the economy are critical at this time. Oversight functions of the National Assembly seem non-existent over the years, which have gone a long way in aiding the corruption in the land. The only thing they seem to oversee is the budget and its padding. The National Assembly should keep their salaries as they are but cut down on their outrageous allowances. We don’t want to know how much their salaries are; we want to know how much their allowances and other entitlements are.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* By simply legislating in favour of the crusade.

Mr. Sorunmu Oluwagbemiga, Colombo, Sri Lanka

* Yes, the National Assembly can truly boost the anti-corruption war effectively. Already, they have exposed many financial fraudsters at the corridors of power and insist on such culprits being prosecuted and punished appropriately. But for a total war there must be no sacred cow, no matter whose ox is gored. Caches of arms and cash e.t.c. in Southern Kaduna, Anambra, Lagos e.t.c. still leaves much to be desired. There is still enough need and room for improvement. We must make accountability our watchword as the Senate and House of Representatives must stand to be counted and become actively involved in this war.

Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* Now that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is doing wonderful work in recovering our commonwealth from never-do-well leaders through the whistle-blowing policy, Nigerians should support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) to end corruption in governance so that Nigeria can move forward. The National Assembly should confirm Magu as the EFCC Chairman because of the good work he is doing, unless the lawmakers have skeletons in their cupboards to avoid exposure from Magu for their evil act of stealing tax-payers money.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Standing up to be counted is one thing; a commitment to the fight is another thing. But how many members of the House and Senate are actually clean indeed?

Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Very funny! How can an institution that is not financially transparent, and which lacks people-centric ideologies fight corruption? A National Assembly that arbitrarily allocates the commonwealth of Nigeria to itself via all sorts of vehicle and money allowance packages cannot fight corruption. A National Assembly that has been publicly indicted on several occasions over corrupt financial practices in the course of carrying out its oversight functions cannot fight corruption. A National Assembly that will not subject its finances to a public audit cannot fight corruption. A National Assembly that embarks on frivolous worthless trips in the name of oversight functions and trainings cannot fight corruption. If the National Assembly is to fight corruption in Nigeria, it won’t be the current National Assembly.

Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

* That is supposed to be so, having been elected among many competitors to be there. The question is: Are we saying that almost all public office holders today have poor background? If this is not so, why the craving for money by almost all the members? It is a pity at the type of lawmakers we have today; nothing good shall ever come from such greedy ones.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* This new era of whistle-blowing against looters and official corruption and huge sums of both local and foreign currencies being found in hidden caches around Nigeria today is a delightful, proactive and spectacular dawn. Dr. Saraki and the two Houses’ body language and genuine joint war against corruption efforts are worth commendation. Senators are exposing looters even among themselves very transparently. These are progressive harvests of decent democracy, you know. Citizens are very glad about this positive cooperation between the House and government for good.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Let them first purge themselves by removing corrupt members and shun away from the enticement of corrupt ones. They should also make laws that will make those corrupt ones among them to step aside. By so doing, people will agree that there is wisdom, justice, equity and good judgment in their handling of corruption cases.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Charity begins at home, as they say. Let the National Assembly first look inwards to cleanse and purge themselves of the bad eggs within their ranks, either among their leadership of ordinary floor members. That will help set them on the right footing to engage the anti-corruption war effectively, and also help repair their distorted image in the eyes of an increasingly aware public, thanks to social media and instant news. There is no point in fighting a war against corruption when principal officers at the National Assembly are also being accused of corruption; that would be cynical hypocrisy. Just merge the two existing National Assembly chambers and let a streamlined outcome fight corruption alongside the Executive and the Judiciary.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

THE RESPONSE

Top tip: Pass pending anti-corruption bills

Second: Engage in better oversight functions

Third: Weed out corrupt legislators

Radical tip: Merge both chambers!

Total no of respondents: 10

Male: 8

Female: 2

Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week: What Should be Nigeria’s Biggest Devt Priority?

Although geographical location influence opinions on what should be Nigeria’s development priorities, the truth is that the country must focus on some key development issues to boost her development process. Although some want food security through improved agriculture, others prefer peace and security nationwide with crime and kidnapping curbed; and while some want massive investments in youths, skills and in employment generation, yet others want a proactive united fight against corruption and overall inequality. To you, what should be Nigeria’s biggest development priority right now, to help improve the livelihoods of majority of the 170 million citizens, and why did you choose this particular priority?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (April 27 & Monday, May 1) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, May 4