The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has cited bad governance, corruption and the collapse of the rule of law as threats to the nation’s security.
Professor Owasanoye made the remark recently in Abuja while delivering a speech as the Guest Lecturer to Course 30 Participants of National Defence College, NDC, Nigeria, on the topic: Whole of Society Approach in the Fight Against Corruption and Human Security in Nigeria.
TheFact Nigeria notes the anti-graft czar’s stance that, not only did corruption weaken the State, but it also eroded its capacity to provide the requisite training and equipment for security and paramilitary agencies such as the police, military, immigration, customs civil defense and neighbourhood watches.
Commenting on how corruption impacts the development, peace and security of a nation, with reference to defense spending, the ICPC boss warned of how a single transaction of diversion of huge sums could have immediate impact that may become irreversible or more difficult and costly to reverse, adding that while petty diversion of budget or misallocation of resources may not immediately make impact, it would inevitably impact medium to long term.
Professor Owasanoye further explained that corruption and failure to uphold the rule of law also led to monumental economic losses and threatened development and human security.
“Direct looting of treasury, illicit financial flows, tax evasion, misapplication of funds, budget padding, ghost workers, deliberate elephant projects, project abandonment, contracts and procurement abuse have huge implications on development and human security,” he reiterated.
He emphasized that just as corruption and weak structures of governance were mutually reinforcing, so also were development, peace and security mutually reinforcing: “Without development there can be no peace or security and without peace and security human development is a mirage.” He then advocated for strong systems and the deployment of technology as a recipe for fighting corruption effectively.
In his remark after the lecture, Commandant of the Defence College, Rear Admiral Oladele Bamidele Daji, also lent his voice to the fact that corruption was an existential threat to national security because of its ability to undermine the institutions of the State and erode public trust.
He therefore reminded the Course 30 Participants that as strategic leaders, corruption and insecurity should be of concern to them, otherwise they would continue to live with the consequences.