How to Fight Corruption in Nigeria
Corruption, it is said, has destroyed Nigeria. Consequently, there is a need to fight it and eradicate it from the nation. However, the fight against corruption is seen as a fight the executive arm of the government has to tackle. Although, in reality, it is a fight all arms of government have to join hands and fight it together. This is because the executive will do little without the support of others arms of government. The most unfortunate incident is that the judicial arm of the government is also corrupt. Therefore, justice is no longer blindfolded. It is the worst aspect of corruption because Nigerians have lost hope in the corrupt justice system that is supposed to be the last hope of the people.
The following are steps that can be taken in the fight against corruption
1) Formulation of laws against corruption: The legislative arm of the government should pioneer the fight against corruption by the formulation of laws against corruption in civil service even in private sectors. The law of imprisonment seems to favour corrupt practices considering the huge amount of money they steal. It means nothing to send someone who stole billions of Naira to 10 years in imprisonment only. There should be laws that demand the return of all that is stolen and/or even other assets the person may have before coming into office. Consequently, when civil servants consider what they are going to lose in the long run, they will not be encouraged to steal public fund. It is said that some countries implement such laws which have helped to control corruption. It will be difficult for the Nigerian legislators to approve such laws because they are part of the problem that needs to be solved and most of them have served in various offices before becoming a legislator. However, people should insist and demand what they want from those they send to represent them.
2) Economic development and workers welfare: There is a need to increase workers welfare and economic development. The Nigerian labour congress has been fighting for the welfare of the Nigerian workers. It has called for an increase in the minimum wage. There is a need to ensure that a civil servant earns what is reasonable within the set standard and economic situation in the country. There is also a need to develop the Nigeria economy to make life easier and better for Nigerian. There should be developments that will help to reduce or discourage corruption. However, the fact still remains that no matter how much one earns, one will still be in need if one fails to plan and manage resources well. That means that some people will still steal public fund no matter how well they are paid or how good the economy becomes. That may explain why people still steal in developed countries. But it is best for the government to do her part and be justified. Being good is a personal thing. Some people will never steal even if they are hungry while others do not need to be hungry to steal.
3) Public office holders’ salary should be known by the public: There is a need for the public to know what public office holders earn. It will help to justify or discredit their luxurious lifestyle and explain if they are able to acquire certain assets within their time in office. The Nigerian case is because the politicians earn so much that they think it will be outrageous for the public to know about it. They cannot justify why they should earn so much amount in a country where many are suffering.
4) Unattractive salaries for political offices: As a follow up to the third, there is need to pay civil servants/ politicians well but the politician’s salary should be justifiable base on the minimum wages of other civil servants. Their salary should not be so attractive that they kill to go into power and even kill to retain power. The point is to pay politicians a reasonable salary but not one that is out of proportion considering other allowances they are entitled. It then means that only those who are really willing to serve the people will go into politics. Nigeria politics is seen as a place to go and make money not to serve Nigerians. Moreover, they do not only depend on their huge earnings but they also steal public fund because their intentions are to acquire wealth.
Corruption is part of the reason Nigeria do not experience free and fair election. Thugs are part of Nigerian politics. People are killed for political reasons. Therefore, the fight against corruption will go a long way to save the lives of many Nigerians. Nigerians should exercise their civil rights without fear of being killed. Above all, the Nigerian masses have the right to decide who they want as their leader through a free and fair election, an election free of violence and threat to lives and properties.
Electronic voting may help to reduce thug action in Nigerian politics and save the lives of many Nigerian. It is believed that many Nigerian will vote if they are certain that their votes will count and that there will be no violence during elections. Consequently, there is a need to restore the hope of Nigerians to the electoral process.
Finally, the fight against corruption involves all Nigerian. This is because even the Nigerian educational sector is not free of corruption and examination malpractices. Therefore, how can a nation so ravage with crime and corruption in her educational system breed youths who will be worthy leaders tomorrow? It follows that the Nigerian parents have a role to play if they want to restore the dignity of man.