Monday, December 1, 2008
NIGERIA OFFICIALS STOLE OVER $100 BILLION DOLLARS, USD!
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has disclosed that corrupt office holders in Nigeria have over the years, embezzled the sum of $100billion from the nation's coffers which is more than double the Country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and three to four times the Nigeria foreign debt.
This disclosure was made yesterday, by the organisation's Senior Project Coordinator, Dr. Oliver Stolphe, in a paper presented on 'Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Nigeria and beyond'. He was speaking at a workshop organised for Journalists on 'Reporting Corruption' by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in conjunction with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). Stolphe who pointed out that the cost of corruption exceeds by far the damage caused by any other single crime, explained that corruption is a very severe obstacle to doing business in Nigeria given that it rates high on 71 per cent while Crime and insecurity rates highest at 75 per cent.
On how Nigeria businesses experience corruption with particular reference to bribes, the paper revealed that out of 2203 businesses interviewed, majority (76.7 per cent) indicated that they did not know what the bribe have been paid for, while 10 per cent said it was paid for better treatment, 4.6% for access to information and 4 per cent to speed up the process. "The effect of the bribe is not just limited to its cost. They result in the inefficiency of the government, damages to legitimacy. Each dollar bribe results in 1.7 per cent damage", he said.
A communiqué at the end off the event spelt out the need for journalists to run full anti-corruption crusades and imbibe self-regulation in reporting crime; further, the communiqué called on stakeholders to expedite the passage of the freedom of information bill and at the same time, include creation of special courts for trying corrupt officers.