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Corruption “ll cost Nigeria N100trn in 2030 if not arrested, says Ex-presidential candidate

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Corruption “ll cost Nigeria N100trn in 2030 if not arrested, says Ex-presidential candidate

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Ex-presidential candidate, Mr Gbanga Oluwepo-Hashim, has expressed shock over the high rate of corruption in Nigeria, saying the menace will cost the country the whooping some of N100 trillion in 2030 if nothing is done to arrest the situation.

He made the scary revelation while delivering a lecture on Wednesday at Arewa House, Kaduna during a public lecture titled: “Uthman Danfodio: A Legacy of Anti- Corruption”.

Mr Oluwepo-Hashim, in the lecture organised by Arewa house, Centre for Research and Historical Documents, Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, also expressed surprised that the corruption is so colossal.

He said “Corruption is so widespread and its cost to the country is colossal.

Oluwepo-Hashim, according to Price Water Cooper (PWC), a global consulting outfit, stated that “If not arrested by 2030, corruption will be costing Nigeria 30% of her GDP, that is 200 billion USD, a whooping N100trillion (One Trillion Naira), about seven times our national budget.

“I am grateful to the Arewa House for giving me the opportunity to speak on this important topic concerning the legacy of a Scholar, Philosopher and extra ordinary reformer, Sheikh Uthman Danfodio especially as it affects the hydra headed virus ravaging Nigeria’s social political and economic fabric-Corruption”, he said.

According to him, nothing of recent underscored the depth of the corruption quagmire “in our country as the sordid details of the alleged drug deals of the soon to be extradited top police corp DCP Abba Kyari.

“This particular case is interesting because it reveals how audacious the corrupt have become in the Nigerian system. Since Abba was already indicted on cybercrime, one would have expected him to keep a low profile as men of the underworld do in other climes, when the radar is on them”, he stated

“But in Nigeria, the criminals now believe that there is no government and that they can literally get away with just anything. It is not just Abba Kyari and some public officers alone that are deep in corruption, some bank owners do same through foreign currency round tripping insider abuse of the credit system and stealing of customers money through illegal charges.

“The young kill for money making rituals with gusto, and in some parts of the country ritualist now conduct day-time open initiation in the public glare. Kidnapping is everywhere, the goal is to extort money.

The effect of this, Gbanga noted, is the rampant poverty every where, illiteracy, disease and insecurity. “In Northern Nigeria, the effects are spectacular and uneven compared to the rest of Nigeria.

“The world Bank estimated in a 2020 report that 87% of those that live in poverty in Nigeria are from the three Geopolitical zones of Northern Nigeria (North East, North West and North Central). The situation is more severe in the North East and North West”, he said.

He also state that, 66% of Nigeria’s 10 million out of school children are from Northern Nigeria. The North is top too on lack of access to primary health care services, clean water and other social amenities.

“In the North, there is acute disparity in income distribution. Majority of farmers and other primary producers have very low income. Attempts to escape poverty through hard-work is limited by lack of adequate social support system, as well as insurgencies that limit access to farmlands.

“Only few legitimate businesses are doing well and the few who make money from legitimate means are under massive social pressure as they are a few oasis in the desert of poverty.

“Criminal gangs make money through kidnappings, illegal taxes on poor villages and other criminal acts. Majority of the population live in fear, panic and uncertainty.

“It was under similar conditions in the early 19th century that the teachings of Sheikh Uthman Danfodio caught the imagination of the poor people of Northern Nigeria and a revolution was birthed, leading to the abolition of the corrupt Sarakuna’s and the establishment of a caliphate”, he also said.

He continue that “Of course as a Christian, I will not be competent to speak on the religious doctrines that underpin Sheikh Uthman Danfodio’s teachings, but as a scholar and devotee of history, I am allowed to examine the Sheikh’s social and philosophical doctrines relevant to the subject matter of corruption, a menace and scourge which must now be eliminated.

“I am guided too that the Nigeria state as presently constituted is multi-religious, pluralistic and democratic, with a constitution that binds all officials, establishes and regulates the functions of organs of States rights and duties of citizens and institutions etc.

“Our examination of the Sheikh’s work will be done within the context of our modern and contemporary realities”, he stated.

On what is corruption and how it grow up in Nigeria?, Gbanga quoted ‘Rose Adkernan’, who defines corruption as “The misuse of public power for private gain.The above definition has been contested as restrictive precluding the roles of in-formalized bloating of the state (Torrest: 1986, Joseph: 1991, Lewis: 1996, Abubakar: 2001).

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