The Federal Government has reiterated the need to address corruption as it is discouraging investments to the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this while speaking on “Corruption and Rule of Law’’ at the on-going 24th Nigerian Economic Summit on Monday in Abuja.
According to Osinbajo, we need to first understand it is an issue, be able to say it is unacceptable, and call it out wherever we find it.
“Systemic corruption, in procurement process, corruption in approval processes obviously discourages investments and we must examine those closely.
“The impact of corruption on development has been my biggest surprise.’’
He said the years of impunity and years of no consequence was the biggest obstacle of corruption for Nigeria.
According to him, many Nigerians have come to accept corruption as part of a way of doing business.
He said it was important for the country to confront this menace, focus on it as an issue and deliberate on a way forward.
“Confronting it is crucial as you really can’t avoid it and the only way to confront it is for government to be determined, to be committed to it.
“Especially by strengthening the systems that will make corruption become something that will attract consequence, something that will attract sanctions.
“If government is committed to it and focused on a number of indices, then I think things will change, and people really want to see some results.’’
On the significant step government had taken on corruption, Osinbajo said government had been doing a lot.
He said it was holding those that had made away with public funds accountable, charging them to court and seizing their assets both locally and and internationally.
“To an extent, those individuals have been brought to book.
“Although, the administration of justice process has been slow, the justice system has its own delays many of which can be resolved by legislation.
“And there is the attitude of counsel to engage in tactics to keep cases on as long as possible to find a way out for persons accused of crimes.
“What we need is a much more efficient system that is able to decide very quickly and take appropriate steps.
“We need to pay close attention to the judiciary and the personnel to ensure they are persons of integrity.’’
Osinbajo, therefore, urged Nigerians to join forces and support the fight against corruption in the country for the benefit of all.
He said, “the most important thing is to have the critical mass of individuals in the private and public sector who are committed to the same ideal, especially as it regards corruption.
“Frankly, I do not think it involves everyone, I think it requires a few people who are prepared to join forces with those who want to fight corruption.
“What is required is for them to see that this is important for all of us and it is in our best interest to fight corruption.’’