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Since independence in 1960, $400 billion of Nigeria’s oil revenue has been stolen or mismanaged
| August 29, 2012
While presenting a paper titled “Corruption, National Development, The Bar and The Judiciary” at the ongoing 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education in Nigeria and a former World Bank Vice President for Africa, said that Nigeria has lost more than $400 billion of its oil revenue to theft or mismanagement since 1960. She also pointed out some problems with the management of Nigeria's finances such as 20 percent of Nigeria's annual capital expenditure budget ending up in private pockets and one per cent of the population getting over 80 per cent of the funds received from oil sales. In her speech she said, " The fight against corruption and demand for good governance is a collective effort of government and citizens. In fact, results reveal that as much as 20 per cent of the entire capital expenditure will end up in private pockets annually. The negative effects of corruption is starkly demonstrated by the fact that based on current track record, Nigeria will miss all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target set in 2000 despite the richness of is natural and human resource endowments. “There is no doubt that at the heart of any progress towards meeting these goals is the quality of governance at all levels of government and yet the general perception since validated revealed large scale corruption in the petroleum sector especially but not limited to the management of the subsidy scheme by all the relevant agencies of government, is that there is poor governance of public resources and assets in Nigeria at every level of government. “Poor governance of public resources and assets in Nigeria is worsening at every level of government, across our institutions of state, the private sector and fast engulfing the wider society. The other and perhaps more significant way corruption hurts is its impact on the government bottom line and those teacher-less, desk-less schools only hint at the extent of the problem in Nigeria. An estimated $400 billion of the country’s oil revenue has been stolen or misspent since the country’s independence in 1960" “In one study by my former institution the World Bank, a data modeling revealed that annual worldwide losses due to corruption amount to between one to four thousand US Dollars or two percent of the world’s gross economic output. The Global Financial Integrity estimated that between 1970 and 2008 Africa lost more than $854 billion in illicit financial outflows, an amount which is far in excess of official development inflows. “Another report of the Transparency International, TI, put the amount of bribes companies paid politicians and other public officials in developing and transiting economies annually at $ 40 billion in 2009 and consider that Africa would constitute major part of”. She also spoke about the roles that civil society organizations and legal bodies like the NBA and the judiciary, can play in making public budgeting more transparent and accountable. She added, “An independent Judiciary and the Bar is important for preserving the rule of law and is, therefore, most important facet of good governance. The judicial system has an important role to play ultimately in ensuring better public governance. There is no area where the judgment of the Supreme Court has not played a significant role in the good governance of any nation whether in environment, human rights, gender justice, education, minorities, and police reforms, among other. “Nigerians are at once disappointed and worried for your profession and the entire justice system, the rule of law one of the most significant characteristics of good governance prevails because India has an independent judiciary that has been sustained because of the support and assistance from an independent Bar which has been fearless in advocating the cause of the underprivileged, the deprived”. “Something tells me that some if you would rise into action and become the Remnant group that has always historically paid the price for the greatness if the multitude. There is a price to be laid for the return of our Lady Justice. So my last words are, “who among you is ready to let character be their destiny? Count me in should need a slightly learned friend.”

(1) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
"Coming In From The Cold"    In California, USA    September 01, 2012
Sorry to say this, but I have come to the conclusion that the black man is not capable of ruling himself. How long will it take to know how to rule or have a system where leaders are not above the law. Our leaders think they own the law and the law does not apply to them.

Rule of law can never take hold in a blackman's world as long as he is allowed to rule himself. You can take the man out of the bush but you cannot take the bush out of the man. Why is it that we have all the laws in the book but it can never be applied. Leaders are stealing us blind and yet nobody can do anything about it. Gone are the days when they used to run away after they've stolen from us. Now they steal and still remain to rub our noses into it.

Babangida dey there; Abdussalam dey there; Obasanjo dey there with his big fat stomach (thanks Fela); Bankole dey there; Farouk dey there; all of them dey there; other big and small thieves dey there too, looting and stealing like crazy. Abacha, if alive, could have "dey" there too; sebi Abacha's him son too who was not even in government at the time got hundreds of millions of dollars stolen.

It baffles me how, with all the laws, nothing can be done about corruption in our own society. We are using American system of government (ASOG) right now. This same system is being used to manage and prosecute criminal and send them to jail. How come all these thieves I mentioned above, in our own system, are free and even talking?

$400 billion stolen? All these years? Haba! it's a lot more than that. Babangida alone stole over $20 billion, what are you talking about?

To me, it's not about how much anyone in power plans to steal or will eventually steal; it's about what we must do about it. The laws we have are as good as how we implement them.

I still can't understand how just one million thieves in power or government can take the rest of us 159 million people to the cleaners all the time like this. We must be mumu's.

I have been in oyinbo man’s land for many years and I keep wondering how long it took them to arrive at this level. It may not be a perfect system, but it sure marvels me how they can be in such control. Anyone must be out of his mind to try and take any laws into his own hand – dem go show you hell.

But for black man, go no go, and come no come o; yeye still dey smell o. Black people have no clue, and it's sad.
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