The Director of MacArthur Foundation, Kole Shettima has stated that among the problems facing Nigeria, insecurity is critical because resources budgeted for security are not channeled towards that purpose.
Shettima spoke at the launch of Anti-Corruption Support Project in Abuja, organized by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). He listed insecurity, lack of accountability, corruption, lack of public services as the four key problems facing Nigeria, saying that if those resources were effectively and efficiently used for the purpose of security, probably, the problem would have minimized.
According to Shettima, “Some of the challenges we are facing in the country is lack of accountability and corruption. Resources that are given to security agencies sometimes are not well used for the purpose they were meant. If our soldiers are not well equipped, they may not have enough resources to do what they want to do.”
“If we are able to reduce the level of corruption in our country, some of the security challenges we are facing will not be there.”
“The best thing we can do is to focus on accountability and anti-corruption because if we can support the Nigerian government to spend resources more efficiently and more effectively, probably, that will be the most contribution we can make to the country.”
“Even if we take the whole money the foundation has, the resources cannot compare to what the country has. The total contribution of development partners to Nigeria is 2% of our budget. So, if we use our budget effectively and efficiently, we can actually do much better.”
Speaking further, he noted that there’s need to change the discourse for anti-corruption agencies, adding that all anti-corruption agencies should focus on improving the quality of lives of the people by creating development interventions whereby those development indicators which those funds were voted for are actually used for them.
“They should see themselves as development agencies more in terms of development rather than rules and regulations, jailing and harassing people.”
In her remarks the Vice Chairman of CDD Governing Council, Dzodzi Tsikatta revealed that the CDD is working with five important agencies to fight corruption.
She accused politicians of sometimes misusing anti-corruption agencies to basically retaliate against their opponents.
She said, “When a government comes to power, they start investigating the government that has just left, thereby wasting time and credibility and the legitimacy of anti-corruption agencies in this exercise.”
“Fighting corruption is about reducing waste and reiterated the importance of not prosecuting the war in uncoordinated way. All the agencies must collaborate to win the war against corruption and not use it as a tool for dealing with political opponents.”