16th June, 2011
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that corruption is the major impediment to economic growth and development in Nigeria.
Obansajo said this at a high-level panel session on the sideline of the ongoing 100th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) on the need for a new era of social justice on Wednesday in Geneva.
â€œThe discovery of oil in Nigeria was a doom and boom, and as a result entrenched corruption that sparked off as the major impediment to the growth and development of the country.
â€œWhen I was president of Nigeria, I established two anti-corruption institutions, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
â€œAnd these institutions arrested and prosecuted serving ministers as well as a serving Inspector General of Police and they were put into jail.â€™â€™
Arguing that fighting corruption inNigeria was notâ€œ a one night affair or one day war,â€ Obasanjo insisted that â€œthere is need for consistency and political will to fight the endemic syndrome.
â€œBut I havenâ€™t seen that will of persistency and consistency by the leaders for now because people that are involved in corruption are strongly entrenched in it.
â€œAnd unless you are ready to confront them at the point of even giving your life for it, then you will give in and when you give in, that is the end of it, a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria covering the meeting quotes him as saying.
The former President, however, added that due to over dependence on oil, Nigeria neglected agriculture which compounded its situatiuon.
â€œWe were thinking oil, we were sleeping oil, we were almost drinking oil and that was as bad as it was.
â€œThen we developed this oil mentality which was not in the best interest of Nigeria. We didnâ€™t see beyond the oil,â€™â€™ he said.