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Thursday, May 19, 2011

THISDAY, Vol. 16, No. 5869, Page 45

de"eloprrient Australia Increases Aid to Africa by 45%

This Week's Issue: Turning Corruption Comer

From Damifofa Oyedefe in Abnja

A

us tralia ha, announced that it would increase its development assistance to Africa by 45 per cent in the next two years ; bringing its tot ,~ aid money to the continent to AUD$291.3m. The Australirut High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ian McConville, said thi s in Abuja recent ly, where he added that the Australian Awards progrrun as well as other ass istance through the Australia Africa Prutnership Facility (AAPF) wi II continue to expand and build on existing activities in Nigeria. Aooording to a release made available to THlSDAY, the envoy added that the increment in aid is a sign of the commitment of his country to the West Amclil reg ion and to the African oontinent.

He added that 29 Nigerians have been awarded long and short term development schol arships in Australia in alignment with the priorities of the Nigerian govemment and its institutions. "A major benefit to West African cou ntries, including Nige.ria, from today's announcement will be an expansion of the Australia Awards Program which will offer more than 750 Australia Awards (scholarships) to at least 40 African oountries in 20 12. The Austral ian Govemment is also very - pleased to su pport other sectors in Nigeria in 2011, including Public Sector Refoml , and support for regional programs within ECOWAS through the AAPF" it read McConville 'reaJlirmed that Australia is committed to ensuring that every dollar spent on aid has the maximum effect on poverty reduction. "Australia will al so maintain s trong s uppon for humanitruian needs on the continent including assi SHUlce to the cri ses in Ivory Coas t, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo," he added .

NOA Builds Awareness on Flooding, Epidemics FrOlll Segllll AlVofadeji

he Nati o nal Orientation Agency ( NOA) has completed arrangements to educate public on dangers o f flo oding and epidemic diseases in all the 20 local government areas of Bauchi State. The State Director of NOA Hajiya Jummai Lirnan Bello , disclosed this in a s tatement signed by Head of InfOlmati on of the agency, DrulMusa Mohammed, where s he s tated Ihat "the agency will liai se with relevanl agencies in the s tate for a j oint enlightenment campaign to sensitise the public on the damages of flood ing and other epidemic di seases". Hajiya Jummai stated th at the issue of weather forecast for sustainable early warning has received the federal government's attention through its various agencies, and appealed to people to cooperate with the government at all levels in thi s directi on. He al so urged the people to s tart clearing their s urroundings of rubbi s ~, in order to ens ure a clean env ironment. She - ., said th e Ni gerian Meteorol ogical Agency (NIMET) has predi cted that in Ihis year 2011 there will be more rainfall than above normal, and s tressed the need for all to have o pen and clean drainages in order to avoid flooding and outbreak of water-born e epidem ic di seases . The Director stressed the importance of environmental sanitation to Ihe peoples' heallh, social economic and moral well being and called 'olf the B auchi s tate Government and the 20 Local Government Coullcil! to suppon the agency.

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nalysts believe Nigerians are .enjoying a newfound sense of power, power to make their destiny the way they want it to be.

TIlls iXlwer was aptly caught on national television cameras

when citizens trooped OUl erunasse during the recent general elections, waited patiently for hours under the hot Sun to choose their JeadeIS for the next four years; and monitored the COWlting of the

votes into the night, echoing the tally joyfully to arrive at the popular wirmers. However, some analysts believe that while transparency is gradually creeping into the governance process. there still remains the issue of pervading coouption, which has been described as the greatesl setback to development in Nigeria. While some believe ~le currenl transparency wave will help tackle the issue of corruption in its wake. others believe it will not be easy 10 dislodge a long-standing national malady for ~te benefit of faster, overall development. 11te questions: Can the curnnt transparency drive be emnded to tackle corruption - especially official corruption - in Nigeria? Are citizens willing to expose corrupt officials who are close to them, to promote good governance? What is the swiftesl remedy to 6ghlthis corruption malady in the new dispensation? Cormption Colwnn • At ~ Je beguming, I will SIan by disagreeing with your assertion that there is any transparency drive to tackle corruption whether official or not. TIle best period Nigeria looked to be (aelding corruption whole heanedly was during Ribadu's time at EFCC, since then we

By Bimbo Akosile ers. as well as confiscatin!? the assets of those who steal public funds. Public officers should render account of their stewardslup on quarterly basis to their people. Thomas lefferson says, ·when a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself a public property" . We, the people, must hold our leaders, who are our properties. to account God bless Nigeria. - Mr. Odey Ochicha,lkayi, Lago, • Phase oul.. all post independent politicians and kingmakers whether on unifonn or mufti.Then we

can think of how 10 really forge ahead. Nigeria will rise again soon. - Miu NkeiruknAballna, Logos '1 strongly believe that the Freedom ofWonnation (Fol) Bill, when it is finally passed, will keep

the EFee extremely busy and its mere existence should serve as a crime prevention tool when il comes to official corruption, The honour and compensation thm are due the Bauchi NYSC members and their families should be extended to the Corps members killed in dte post-eleclion violence of 2007 in los. . - Mr. Huga Dunj, ios, Plateall stnte

• To rescue the nation, there is urgem need for three things namely: declare emergency on COlTUption!; declare emergency on cOmJption!; and declare. emergency on conuption! . Even though colonial Britons brought corruption, it noteworthy that the mostly southern manpower Lhal heip<"..d Britons run the pre-Independence colonial adminiSb"btion did not always condone graft, bilt when the north

took over by 1960, corruption grew wings north and south. Now corruption constitutes the greatest danger but we hardly know this. - Mr. Labbati Philips, Lagos

have gone back to the abyss and comJption has continued to be the

-There are many colours and dimenSions Perhaps we shall fighl.conupllon sectonally CorruptIon

• Believe it or not, a lot of people are dying on daily basis

Highest location: Lagos (8)

cankerwonn that has been bedevilling our development as a nation. is mostly mSbgated by depnvattonJIack caused by l~eplJtude on govetnance. Th,s can be onferred from 111e swifleSt way to tackle coouption is make the EFCC and ICPC the few proportIon of the most apl m COOUpbOn bUSIness , and people support and praISe them because truly independent and lougher sanctions like life imprisonment be I.ck has forced maJonty of Ntgenans to be gullible The most corrupt atlmes take care of many depenenacted into law for anybody dants through mealslsupends and handouts therefore, how can the found willl corrupt hands espemen Iridex ~ beneficiaries expose their master, when they know that gQverdally at top notch government nance dividends will not direcrIy reach the m. They are not proagencies and public offices. Top tip: Improved anti- ration! tected. For the swiftest remedy, we should introd uce defined roles, _ Mr. Rablll SloaJIIllla, Dept. corruption agencies Total no of respondents' 20 accountability, responsibility and sanction down to the micro level of Political Science, Bayero Next: Pass Fol Bill fuUy Male: 16 in our system and enforce it. UniJ'ersily, Kano Third: Weed bad eggs out! Female: 4 - Mr. DOli E. Opamji, Police Service Commissio",Abu.i,a Radical tip: Assets decla-

as a result of starvation resulting from corruption. Life jail should be

the penalty for any corrupt government official - Mr. Godwin AwaH'a • The success of the electoral process can be atuibuted to the fact that dIe Government first elected a credible and widely acceptable

person to lead the commission, provided all the necessary support

through prompt approval of funds by the National assembly and the amendment of the Constitution at record pace to create an enabling

envlrolmlenl and govemment not meddling in the work of the commission. To resuscitate the fight against colTtlption, Government needs to find someone very credible and effective to lead the conunission,

provide necessary political support, ensure thaI there are no sacred cows, and give all the anti-<:orruption agencies the necessary backing to do their job weU. The i:l., t bottleneck will be to refonn the judicial process to ensure speedy hearing and conclusion of trials. A classic example is Egypt where within few weeks, tlle case of the Minister of Interior was prosecuted , heard in court and judgment delivered. In Nigeria, it is possible. - Mr. Rotimi OIawale, Digital Peerslnternl11imwl,Abuja • I am thinking. - Mrs. P-dt Odigie, lHISDAY Newspapers Ltd , Apapa, Lagos • The cmruption cult, like any other cult, has no nation, no responsibility to anyone, no humani ty. They are only interested in themselves. They are eC:lgcr to frustrate every vision, whether 2020 or 3030. Until they are dismantled, Nigeria could remain a chaotic nation . Already the Judic iary is setting the big bank rogues free and

jai ling the helpless poor with impunity. - Mr. Marcus Igallaba, Abuja • No solution ..... - Mr. Eillemllllo ChibulllJll, Surotere, Logos

• I hope and I have trust in the 10n a ~13n Adminislrntion dtal the same way people praised him for the conduct of dle recent General Elections, the same way be applied to fight against the national disgrace caUed corruption by aUowing lhe agencies in charge free hands 10 operate. BUI he should beware of all these Babanriga politicians because they are there to do their Business as Usual; we know them. - Mr. KolalVole Olasupo, Photojollrnalist, THISDAY Newspapers,Apapa, Lagos • FIrstly, we have not yel started any transparency drive because of tlte malaise called federal character. Tackling corruption is quite easy if Nigerians can do away with cash transactions. Pay in dIe bank and presenlthe teUers; we will all be amazed at the transformation. - Mr. Emekn OralJye,jos, Plaleall Stale

• It should be noted that widt responsibility comes accountability. Only acoountability and trnnsparency guarantees goOd leadership and good governance, leading to national prosperity. The swiflest remedies to 6ght thls corruption malady in the new dispensation

include checking sources of weal ~l of public office holders, recovering stolen funds liom foreign bank accounts and punishing the loot-

·We need to get the House to pass the Freedom of Infonnalion (FoI) Bill.ll will help dle citizens to fight dle corrupt officials. The citizeru are willing in tllis fight. - At/iss Onyillye Nnenji,Akoka, Lagos • Nigeria has become a laughing stock in rIle eyes of others in tenns of corruption and other related evil vices, Governance is about transparency and accountability in service. [f we want something good to be achieved from this incoming government of President Goodluck Jonalhan. conupted politicians should not be allowed 10 fonn this new government come May 29. If progress is 10 be made, no matter the roles politicians played during the just-conc1uded genera] elections. Now is Lhe time to say enough is enough to corruption tendency in OUf governance process from 20 11 to 20 15. We are behind schedule in developmental advance in every sectors of life. - Mr. Gordon Chika,Abw SlI11e • The citizens are prepared to partner with govemment in the war against cOiruptiOI1 and for good governance. Let government demonstrate commitment and show leadership and the people will respond enthusiastically! For a start, let the government diligently prosecute all cOmJption cases and remove all tainted people from pubijc apJ?Ointments. - Mr.1K MUD, Department ofAdmimstration, OOU, Ago-llVoye, Oglln State • Anli-comJption {·arnpaign must resolutely move from kid gloves to galvanised willpower to cleanse the puuid bottle-necked judiciruy and law enforcement agencies, (the globally most brutal on record), revamp the anti-grnft agencies, the contract and procurement systems, Lhe immunity clauses and the civil service hierarchy. There shoulc:fbe solid monitoring of income and expenditure returns, special corrunissions to monitor Uni versities and private sector, 8 whistle-blower incentive system, prosecution of defaulting AGs, probe of all outgoing governments, monitoring of projeclS and budgets by credible NGOs, special cult monitoring units e.t.c. Please leI this very critical chal go on for months to yield resulls. ..' . - Mr. Nestor Elalouln, Lagos -Security concerns were not living up to billings to erndicate corrupLiQl~ in our governance (espe:' dally our leaders). Without corruption fight, nothing good will come out of this new government seltingon May 29. AU hands must be on deck to ensure corruption is fought to zero point.A11 those abou.1. to be appointed for political posts should declare their assets to agencies concerned before assuming/resuming duly. After they leave office, investigation should be camed Ollt to whether they enriched themselves with goverrunent money, then proper action should be taken on them for their evil COI\ducl" . - Mr. Kenllelh Nllorom, Youtll COlper ill Edo Stale • Dino Melaye and co have exposed Dimeji Bankole, accusing him of embezzling over NI 2 hillion.lfhe could not pay members their money entrusted to him, what could be more corrupt thall (icis·! Expose corrupt politicians. - Chief IkecllllkwuAllollye,A nambra SlI11e • Corruption has become so endemic in Nigeria that it is no longer limited to the top echelon nnly. Otherwise, why are cleoks, PAs, Secretaries invol ved in the grand fraud in the Pension section of the Head of Service office? Government has not taken the issue seriously otherwise why did illal~ them so long to discover that Hassan lawai, the fonner Minister ofWooks, embezzled N74 billion'! Where was the EFCC that was supposed to be monitoring bank deposits? Where was the ICPC? I d..'Y t.ugh 00 at these agencies because they have not lived up to their billings. Corruption can be eradicated if these agencies encourage whistle blowing and !real su.:h whistle blowers witJ) a lot of confidentialjty and secrecy. Some whistle blowers have their names and itlcntities revealed and they have been so victimised that nobody feels encouraged anymore (0 R!vC".tI the corrupt tendencies in government establis!unents. Most of the EFCC and ICPC opernthcs an: from the Police and have therefore bansferred the malaise from that institution to these agenei"". ER::C and ICPC should recruit their staff and send them for training 10 those partner countries thai \. . c "now have anti-comJption crack teams, Civil societies in the anti-corruption crusade should wake up and do more for the good ofdte country, especially in the wake of the jusl passed Fol Bill . - Dr. Kale NWlifo, mni, NEROC, Abuja

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m\'o(" em<:nt of the Youth Corpers in Ihe last general ck."Cfions was hailed due to to have collected NlOO,OOO to perform elecloral fr",,,! in one of the states. Sadly a1so,)he ten Co'l"'rs who were cruelly in the recen! violence in the North, have brouJ;htlhc spotligh! on a scheme that is expected io help the nation's YQuthful population acclimatise and learn liom pther cultuial selling~jlSide their original staies, Many ""alysts huw"ver believe the Scheme should be scrapped since many' young 'graduates reje<;tll!fal postings and influenCe their stay in choice urban ,,"aIreS, which ,Hc;IL' Ooc original purpose. 'n~~r " " .,,",,,

The questions: As a citizen of this !"lunny, would you want the NYSCsCherite scrapped Ioially? Stauld il be ..H"wed 10 conlinue in its present form and structure? If left to cQnlinue, what can be ~lie ,to inipro~~ Qoe ~heme !lDd belp acltiaIise ilsjtriginal focus and purpose? Please make your response direct, short andsimpie, .md stale your full name; title, 0JEimisaIi00. and 1oaIim. ~>IL~-S should be sent between today & Monday 23) to constiJulionalconfenmu@yiIhoo.£om OR iJbiJnboh¢(jlya!Ioa.£om. ReSpondo::oIs taD ..... smuB ",hor'·[r,r niessage to 08023117639. Collated responses published on.ThUCliday. May 26. . -

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THISDAY, 19 MAY, 2011  

NOA Builds Awareness on Flooding, Epidemics

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