By Victor Ajihromanus
A France-based Nigerian forensic investigator, Dr Yusuf Aliu, has said corruption was taking its toll on the Federal Government’s anti-graft war.
He spoke against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation of alleged fraudulent practices in the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, among others.
Aliu, who is the Director, Forensic Investigation, International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals, United States Incorporated, noted that individuals assigned with a high level of responsibilities were themselves becoming suspects.
The Edo-State indigene in a statement made available on Friday titled: Graft and corruption in our country is taking a rather huge toll on the government, said high profile persons assigned with the responsibility of ensuring transparency in government transitions were now being accused of corrupt practices.
Aliu said, “Graft and corruption in our country are taking a rather huge toll on the government and her anti-graft/corruption efforts, with abuse of power, fraud, embezzlement, and misuse of public funds being on the rise daily in both size and severity.
“The individuals and institutions involved are high profile, assigned with the responsibility of ensuring transparency in government transitions. Now if the citadel of justice is corrupt, of what value is the body politics?
“It is sad to note that government agencies saddled with the responsibility of promoting transparency in government are now the ones masterminding fraudulent practices. The federal government anti-graft is suffering a huge setback.
“Such setbacks culminate in the frustration of the citizens and lack of confidence in the government. Besides the negative perception of the government, corruption has threatened our democratic institutions and values and the government tends to be losing the fight. In 2019, Nigeria ranked 146 out of 180 on Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.”
As a way to effectively manage graft and corruption, Aliu suggested, “Manage conflict of interest, by aligning government interest with the interest of operators. This will reduce the undue influence and abuse of power(s) in policymaking.
“Regular operational and financial audit, especially, for high risk/vulnerable MDAs. This can be achieved through efficient and effective internal control, to preserve checks and balances. Maximise the use of the whistleblower provisions, Graft is a felony that should be addressed with a very stiff penalty, among others,” he stressed.
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