Former US intelligence community expert on Nigeria, Mathew Page, has described the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as selective.
Page, currently an advisor with Transparency International, spoke during a workshop organised by Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, in Abuja.
He said: “My feeling on the style of fighting corruption by this government is very significant. It is very robust but is quite selective. There should be some root reforms in terms of the way the agencies operate.
“We know for a fact that corrupt activities are going on as they also have done in the past and it seems the government of the day is slow to taking expansive approach to fighting corruption.
“This is not to say the government has not made progress. Agencies like EFCC are doing a robust job, given the resources. I feel the anti-corruption war is quite political in Nigeria and selective.
“There is still need for more to be done to look into the activities of people in government now and members of the ruling party and not just people who were in the past government.”
Page further took a swipe at the international community and how some countries fuel corruption in Nigeria.
“We often talk about corruption in Nigeria being a domestic problem focused here but we miss a part of the conversation about how the international community, especially the property markets in US, UK and other European countries, aid corrupt Nigerians to steal away public funds from Nigeria.”
He insisted that the host countries where Nigerians stash stolen funds are guilty of aiding corrupt Nigerians because they operate laws that provide the looters a safe haven to launder public funds from Nigeria.
Page said: “By co-operation, they facilitate corruption by Nigerian politicians. Government officials take money they looted in Nigeria to buy property in US, UK and essentially make it disappear from Nigeria.
“There are two sides to the story but we talk much more about the other. A lot more can be done in fighting corruption across board. Rather than using rhetoric and talks, Nigerian can look at how UK, US use laws to fight corruption to address the anomalies.”
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