Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo on Thursday said corruption and illicit financial flows out of Africa relentlessly delay the attainment of the nation’s development goals.
He said, “It worsens all Human Development Indices and trap the majority of her people especially the most vulnerable in a trap of misery and poverty.”
Osinbajo, who was represented by Special Adviser to the President on Rule of Law, Office of the Vice-President, Fatima Waziri-Azi, spoke at the launch of an app to report corruption tagged: FLAG’IT.
FlagIT, a newly designed Anti-Corruption App which was unveiled at the event, was developed by the Akin Fadeyi Foundation in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Osinbajo said, “It doesn’t matter how much revenue a country generates or how transformed it is or progressive its plans are. Corruption will ensure that the majority of the people do not benefit from whatever gains are made.”
He said, “this is why despite the highest oil revenues in our history, debt doubled and poverty figures rose; which is why a major pillar of this administration’s social-economic agenda is the fight against corruption.”
He said the government recognizes the important role technology and innovation plays in any society and that is why it is committed to supporting technology/entrepreneurship ecosystems.
He said, “Most importantly, the FLAG’IT app aligns with the government’s commitment to fighting corruption because it keys into the national anti-corruption strategy.”
In a key note address, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, said fighting corruption without the involvement of the people and the civil society organizations is like trying to control flood and erosion with palm tree fences.
Sagay, who was represented by Kelechi Amadi, said, “corrupt people do not live in another planet; they do not have different physiologies and other physical characteristics that differentiate them from the rest of society; they are simply part of the society and in many instances, they are more clever than the rest of the society.”
He added that corruption is a formidable enemy of progress and in reality, it can be said to have much of its roots in the society because virtually nothing moves in our society without one form of corruption or the other.
Also speaking, the FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, noted that on the 2018 corruption perception index reported by Transparency International, Nigeria is the 14th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries hence corruption also affects the economy of the country.
He said the corps has zero-tolerance for corruption, saying 72 officers have been sacked on the basis of corruption, as 152 are undergoing trials while about 42 are yet to be confirmed for disengagement.
He said to fight corruption in the corps, a unit strictly to monitor and fight anti-corruption cases was created and the appointment of officers for collaboration with other anti-corruption agencies.
Oyeyemi said the corps has already keyed into the use of the FlagIT app to get the officers conscious that the corps was out to fight corruption at all levels.
On his part, Executive Director, Akin Fadeyi Foundation, Akin Fadeyi who was represented by Founder/Chief Executive, The Cable, and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the foundation, Simon Kolawole, said the aim of the App was for the public to have a means to report any case of corruption which they witness.
He said the app was in collaboration with public offices to help expose their officers involved in corrupt acts, adding that FRSC was the only government agency that has keyed into the programme. He noted that other agencies are expected to do the same with time.