Don’t give bribes to get drivers’ licenses, passports, clear goods at ports – Osinbajo

By Mod
3 months ago
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General - Top Stories

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that there is no

reason why any Nigerian should give bribe to law

enforcement agents whether for obtaining drivers licenses,

passports or to clear goods at the ports.

VP Osinbajo

Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday in Abuja while declaring open

the anti-corruption conference tagged “Collaborative

Approach to Eradicating the Evils of Corruption in Nigeria.’’

The conference was organised by the Office of the Vice

President and the Presidential Advisory Committee Against

Corruption (PACAC).

Quoting PricewaterhouseCoopers, Osinbajo said Nigeria’s

2030 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could be up to 534

billion dollars higher if it reduced corruption.

He said it did not matter how much revenue a country

made or how transformative its plans were in the presence

of corruption because corruption would ensure that the

majority of the people did not benefit from it or simply

truncate the plan.

According to him, in spite the highest oil revenues in

Nigeria’s history, debt doubled and poverty figures rose as

a result of corruption.

He said that the administration was not slightly deluded

into thinking that it had won the battle against corruption

as it was tackling grand corruption first.

“By that we mean the stealing of huge public resources

directly from the treasury; usually at the highest levels of

executive authority; and the stealing of budgeted funds

through various schemes.’’

He said that the enforcement of Treasury Single Account

(TSA), the Presidential Initiative on  Continuous Audit, and

even ensuring that most civil servants were on the IPPIS

electronic platform had helped greatly to control official

theft of public funds.

The vice president said that the judiciary also moved the

needle in recent times.

“The Supreme Court in a lead judgment of Akaahs JSC,

recently held that forfeiture under Section 17 of the

Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act is a

civil process which neither requires the criminal conviction

of the property owner nor his innocence .

“This opens the door for forfeiture of assets that the

purported owner cannot explain, whether or not an

allegation of corruption is made.

“We are now poised to deal with the wider problem of

systemic corruption; especially where the average person

interacts with government.

“ Corruption in the issuance of contracts , licenses and

other government approvals; there is no reason why any

Nigerian should have to give bribe to law enforcement

agents for obtaining drivers licenses or passports, or to

clear goods at our ports .

“All the relevant government agencies have shown a serious

commitment to eradicating these forms of corruption; our

next level is to create the environment for

collaboration between our agencies, civil society and other

stake holders.’’

The vice president said that it was in recognition of the

enormity of corruption that President Muhammadu Buhari

set up PACAC in 2015.

Osinbajo said that PACAC deserved commendation not just

for its sterling, innovative contributions to the fight against

corruption, but for regularly setting the agenda for

important conversations on the subject.

On his part, PACAC’s Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay, said

information and intelligence sharing among anti-corruption

and security agencies was critical in the fight against

corruption.

He said that the Sept. 11 attack in New York and the recent

attack in Sri Lanka were all blamed of security agencies

who failed to act on or share intelligence.

“On June 1, 2016, PACAC organised a roundtable on

corruption information and intelligence sharing protocol.

He said that the justification for that roundtable was

contained in the summary of the outcome of the

roundtable.

Sagay said that it was observed that information at the

disposal of various intelligence units in the country was not

shared in a systematic and pragmatic manner to assist the

fight against corruption and other related national security

threats.

He said the gaps were identified as setback in the fight

against corruption.

“Against the above background, PACAC developed a

protocol on information and intelligence sharing for anti-

corruption and law enforcement agencies and intelligence

community.

“The recommendations of that roundtable were not only

apt, but were imperative for the successful collaboration

and information sharing among the anti-corruption and

security agencies.

“Let us use the opportunity this morning to reaffirm the

determination of the ant-corruption and security agencies

to work together in the interest of Nigeria in order to clear

the cobweb of corruption that has almost covered the face

of Nigeria,” he said.

Heads of various anti-corruption agencies whose operations

are affected by corruption attended the event (NAN).





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