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Okonjo-Iweala: Nigeria Lacks Institutions, Systems & Processes to Prevent Corruption

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Time Magazine - April 2014 - BellaNaija.comMinister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Tuesday that corruption persisted in the country because Nigeria lacked the institutions, systems and processes to prevent it.

Okonjo-Iweala made this known when she spoke on the Topic: Preventing Leakages in the Nigerian Economy at the Catholic Caritas Foundation Forum in Abuja.

According to her, the absence of the relevant systems and institutions that will help check corruption has created opportunities for people to engage in the act.

“This thing has been with us and we must crack it. This is not something that started in this country today; but it is something that we must crack.

Fundamentally, we have to ask ourselves, why has this continued to be a problem; I am convinced that it is because we constantly look at the symptoms and not the cause of the disease.

The cause of the disease is we don’t have in place the institutions, the systems and the processes to block and prevent it in the first place.

That’s the only difference between us and the people abroad,” she said.

The minister also stated that people would be compelled to do the right thing always if the appropriate systems were in place to block and prevent corruption.

She urged youths in the country to ask the relevant questions that would help tackle corruption in the country.

This is so important now because of technology and I am a total fan of the use of technology and electronic platforms to block the leakages in this country…We must use them the way they are being used in other countries.”

Okonjo-Iweala said that the introduction of the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMS) had helped to reduce physical movement of cash to make payments and curb corruption.

She said that the Integrated Personnel Payment System had also helped government to remove ghost workers from the system and save money in the process.

“We have been able to weed out about 62,893 ghost workers till date saving N208.7 billion and we have not finished in the system. That is addressing the root cause,” she said.

The minister revealed that the names of the persons found to be involved in the act had been sent to the ICPC for further action.

In addition, she stated that through the electronic wallet system introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture, government had been able to reduce corruption in fertilizer distribution in the country.

According to her, 10.5 million farmers have been registered under the system with more than 6 million being able to access the product personally.

This, she said, had contributed to increased food production.

The minister said that with the creation of the Pension Transmission Administration Department as demanded by law, issues with old pension were being handled systematically

She said that 14 people were presently on trial for various pension scams in the country.

Commenting on the outcome of the forensic audit on the alleged $20 billion missing oil money, the ministry had written to the NNPC asking it to remit the amount as directed by the auditors.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

42 Comments

  1. BB

    February 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Can’t believe this world bank back-office relic is still talking. So she has been with this same govt for more than 10 out of 16 yrs of PDP administration in Nigeria. What did she do to correct what she is complaining about for the yrs she has spent there? ? What a clown.

  2. mimi

    February 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Er mmm… in my opinion, this is the best time for Okonjo to lay-low!

  3. Scared homosapien

    February 18, 2015 at 8:32 am

    They’ll just put in numbers to confuse us.

  4. Somebody

    February 18, 2015 at 8:34 am

    One of the most debilitating aspects of the Nigerian society is the lack of consequences for criminal actions. One of the reasons for this is our ambivalent attitudes towards law and order. The Justice system handed down to Nigerians by the British, was still despite their best intentions (even of the laws themselves) a foreign body of jurisprudence grafted onto a disenfranchised populace. There was no process of review, acceptance or ratification for colonized people’s about the laws they were to be governed by, hence no organic respect for said laws. Had these laws and the recognition for their necessity been locally or organically developed by Nigerians, we would see the need for their maintenance and application in everyday matters, and we would struggle on our own to uphold them. Because we never developed such intrinsic value for their applications, we allowed them to flounder once the British left.

    The story of colonization.

    Back to present day Nigeria.

    Fortunately, globalization and the increasingly globalized education experiences of Nigerians, plus the attendant exposure all of this brings is showing us the necessity of strong legal institutions as the basis for any real progress, economic or societal. Be it functioning intellectual property laws, or stringent laws enacted to protect the freedom of speech and the democratic process, we see their need. Not everyone is on board though, some are still hankering for the golden dark ages…..

    But the future is here to stay.

  5. Joe

    February 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

    The is problem and it must be tackled…That is why we have a government system to help us do that but rather it is self interest for them officials with suitable positions…God is watching though..

  6. Luqman

    February 18, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Dora Akunyili worked diligently under the same institutions, systems and environments that”re rigid to prevent corruption. They even attempted to kill the woman several times.
    All these nah campaign after election.

    • NagosBigBoi

      February 18, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      God bless you my broda!
      NOI: you say make people dey ask question, but when Soludo ask, wetin you do? No worry dem go resubmit your name for minister.

  7. chhy

    February 18, 2015 at 9:09 am

    She is right. The system and process to decrease corruption is not properly in place. Please can someone ask Buhari how he plans to fight and reduce corruption. It is necessary for Naija to know before voting takes place.

    • Ada

      February 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      That is the thing — constituencies don’t ask the right questions. That is what’s happening to Greece. Once they vote the guy in, he will start stumbling and fumbling. How do you plan to do what you say you will do?

      In Buhari’s case, I realize how happy my life has been not hearing the words “essential commodity”, “contraband”, and so on for decades. Yet those were our realities then: Only Nasco Cornflakes and Okin; No Kelloggs Frosties. Only Bata shoes, no Zegna. May we not vote ourselves backwards…

  8. bimpe

    February 18, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Durrrrhhhh course it does

  9. Hahaha, i laugh african laugh

    February 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    And all these years you have been in the system, what have you done to create or encourage your oga at the top to create those institutions?

    Na bcos d day of reckoning don come that election is around the corner that you people just knowing that?

    Seems your people in finance are fraudulent sef. 289bn and hundreds of ghost staff? No be IPPIS you dey take pay fed govt staff?

    If it is IPPIS, i know IPPIS verifies each staff, captures and enrolls them. How come with all the verification and capturing, you still have all that?

    i no chop your s**t

  10. The Truth

    February 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I have my issues with NOI but I agree with her on this aspect of fighting corruption. I am glad she has mentioned specific systems that she has implemented instead of just talking vaguely like GEJ in the press interview recently. what I would like to see more public shaming of the culprits in the press. The number of ghost-workers was staggering.

    Buhari’s team has been a bit vague on how they plan to detect corruption. They could benefit by augmenting and innovating technological checks and balances. Koboko and Kirikiri is not a strategy in 2015. I am sorry to say but Nigerians are intrinsically corrupt. It has become an intrinsic part of our culture that cuts across socioeconomic and ethnic lines. So much internalized that we now see some forms of corruption as normal. The only way to seriously curtail corruption in Nigeria is to make it nearly impossible for us to engage in corrupt practices. I would like to see a national registry of all government workers (including police) that allowed citizens to report any improper practices such as bribery. It would be reviewed annually and corrupt officials would be reprimanded or removed from their posts if it got to that level. Similar thing for citizen monitoring of contracted projects to stop thievery through inflated and unfinished projects. Technology and transparency will bring Nigeria closer to the truth.

  11. DAME

    February 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Why all this talk about “what would buhari do; ??? We have not answered what will Jonathan do differently that he didnot do under 6 years…FACE YA WORK NOI !!!!
    Is it jona that says he wants to use technology to fight corruption ?? like one comment said…DORA of NAFDAC worked in this same Nigeria and did excellently well so madam NOI take several seat and sit down…why was there need for NNPC to be audited > whats the work of the accountant and auditor generals …two seperate parastatals meant to safeguard our monies but are the tunnels thru which funds are stolen…..i repeat… take several seats madam

    • Fred

      February 18, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Dora did an exemplary work and had great young people around her, but there was still corruption in the system “NAFDAC”. Go the ports,Labs and see the state of NAFDAC now.Truly we need strong institutions supported by systems, processes and technology for longevity of the fight against “corruption”.

  12. Ifeanyi

    February 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

    When systems and structures are in place, things
    run seamlessly and there is hardly any way that someone can do shady deals. Someone
    said it is difficult to be corrupt in America because if not immediately, later
    the person would be caught. Imagine 20 years the line, the person would still
    be caught nevertheless. That is because they have viable systems and
    structures. The
    Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMS) and the Integrated
    Personnel Payment System which has helped to weed out ghost workers are
    laudable achievements. This is what we have been talking about, we want more of
    this.

  13. George

    February 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

    The Government Integrated Financial Management
    System (GIFMS) and the Integrated Personnel Payment System are great milestones
    coming from this administration. It is indeed time to sanitise the system and
    there should be no sacred cows. Well done Madam

  14. Cyril

    February 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The case of the e-wallet system in agriculture
    is particularly commendable. Prior to this, farmers complain that they don’t get
    the fertilizers and other benefits. Thanks to the e-wallet system, the farmers
    now have direct access to facilities and benefits.

  15. Kenneth

    February 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

    The much talked about forensic audit report is
    out; that is a big milestone. It has not gone the way previous allegations have
    gone. This one was not swept under the carpet, it has been pursued to a logical
    end; we have the results as Okonjo-Iweala promised. Well done Madam, you are
    truly a woman of interity, a woman of your words.

  16. Patrick

    February 18, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Sincerely, and I’m not just saying this to make
    her feel good; Okonjo-Iweala is one woman that has worked tirelessly for the
    good of this country. Talk about economic reforms and improvements; she has
    been there. From the days of the debt pardon during Obasanjo regime to the
    times of Nigeria becoming the leading economy in Africa. I mean, this woman is
    really trying. No wonder she keeps bagging awards all over the world.

  17. Carol

    February 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    What is the new thing in what Mrs. Okonjo-iweala said that hasn’t been said before? Obama came to Africa in 2009 and said just what the Minister said. We prefer a white man come to our land to tell us we already know, we should not forget that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala was for many years World Bank MD so she knows exactly what she was talking about when she said Nigeria lacks the institutions to fight corruption.

  18. Wale

    February 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    What Nigerians should note is that the institutions are weak. We have not developed institutions to tackle corruption and graft. My problems with most of us is that we are not willing to take responsibility for the fact Mrs Okonjo-iweala alluded to.

  19. Bello Muh'd

    February 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    It only baffles me in this country that we don’t appreciate acts of courage. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is saying exactly what virtually everyone knows. Can anyone please tell me which of our institutions can stand to fight corruption presently? Is it the Judiciary, police or which? Let some point to one institution. Definitely none! Now that Mrs. Iweala has pointed out our obvious deficiency, can we just for once appreciate this great woman for this act of boldness?

  20. NagosBigBoi

    February 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Great they have put in electronic systems to block the smaller leaks. When is a system going to be put in place to block the major leaks like NNPC and CBN?

  21. Bukky

    February 18, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I see NOI’s view as a clarion call to all of us. We don’t have strong institutions we all know that. Instead of getting into the debate of the pros and cons of her statements, let’s all see how we can work together to see how we can develop strong institutions to fight corruption and corrupt practices. The earlier we pay heed to this patriotic call by Iweala the better for all of us!

  22. Chioma

    February 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    We live in a country where we have demonised public officials as all corrupt. For me no matter the source of this erroneous belief, there are still men and women of integrity that holds public office. A good example is Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-iweala. This opinion of hers is what I have canvassed a long time ago, but nobody listened to me. We have to accept the fact that we presently have weak institutions and these institutions themselves cannot fight corruption. This is why I welcome the Minister’s timely call.

  23. Aisha

    February 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t really know why we pretend about certain things in Nigeria. To fight corruption and insecurity, we need strong patriotic institutions. Let us take a good example of the Nigeria Police. How can you curb graft with such an unpatriotic corruption-filled institution? I sympathise with the ignorance of opponents of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala for deliberately shying away from the obvious reality of the Nigerian predicament in its anti-corruption crusade. May God help us all!

  24. Stephnie

    February 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Let’s face it, is the Minister right or wrong? Prejudices and party affiliations aside! The fact the even the Nigeria’s main opposition party the APC has dropped its toga of partisanship to throw its weight behind the Minister is very commendable. But for those who want to be more Catholic than the Pope can keep on in their self-imposed ignorance.

  25. Ngozi

    February 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    For the first time in my life I find myself on the same page with the Minister for Finance. This shows how fast things can change. Mrs. Iweala really impressed me with her comments today. I am proud to be a Nigerian once again!

  26. Comfort

    February 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I must accept that I have no fault to Mrs Iweala’s super opinion about the nature of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria. The Minister said my mind with these honest words from her. My God give us the fortitude to understand and accept this painful truth as revealed by NOI. God bless us all.

    • Lyrics

      February 18, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Carol, Wale, Bello Muh’d, Bukky, Chioma, Aisha, Stephine, Ngozi, and now Comfort……. I see you’ve covered all the tribes. Now, give it a rest. We get your point.

  27. Theresa

    February 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Story story…what about EFCC, ICPC, and all other organizations?
    The problem with Nigeria and her different institutions like Chinua Achebe of blessed memory said is is leadership or absence of it!!! When you have corrupt leaders or leaders who have been emasculated by one Oga-at-the-top, how will such organizations work properly?
    Nigerians are good people, most Nigerians are honest, but when corruption, dishonesty and greed are not punished adequately, it creates an atmosphere of impunity.

    This government has had a full tenure to correct this problem, but did nothing. Instead they pardoned confirmed criminals like Alams, Bode George, Abacha, they let off Oil subsidy thieves, they turned blind eyes to pension scams, customs/immigration tragedy, bomb masterminds, etc. Yet they have the nerve to still talk!

    Nigerians today are different from those of yesteryears. We are more educated and exposed, we are impatient with lack lustre government, our loyalty to tribe, religion is not as strong as before, we are more globally minded than local. Our allegiance to past heroes, leaders is no more total because we know they are imperfect.
    Give us performance or leave if you cannot. No more excuses or promises!!!
    What did you do with the little you had? Why should we trust you with more if you were unfaithful with little?

  28. Blessing

    February 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I see Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s view as a clarion call to all of us. We don’t have strong institutions we all know that. Instead of getting into the debate of the pros and cons of her statements, let’s all see how we can work together to see how we can develop strong institutions to fight corruption and corrupt practices. The earlier we pay heed to this patriotic call byrs Iweala the better for all of us!

  29. Jamce

    February 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Madam Ngozi, please don’t insult our intelligence. So for how many years you decided to enmesh yourself in the system of corruption and became its spokeswoman whenever the stolen billions need to be explained away. What are you still doing in the system if you are not partaking?

  30. o

    February 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Only 1 person is Carol, Wale, Bello Muh’d, Bukky, Chioma, Aisha, Stephanie, Ngozi and Comfort????!!!??? Are you a learner?? Biko, make up your mind and stick to one name jare. And you keep liking your posts sef…..na wa oo! Who is fooling who?? lolllll

    • Andy

      February 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      This just cracked me up! He/She sure is a learner…

  31. nene+

    February 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    @nagosbigboi,Let us learn to appreciate progressive little steps.

    If you have been a student of GOALS AND TARGETS, you will know that your big goals are best achieved when broken down in little TASKS.

    Yes the most important has been/will be achieved.
    Over 62,000 ghost workers uprooted and you are not excited? can you bet that some of the ghost workers are not some of these boko harams? If not why all the aggression?and where does the funding come from?

    What of the “fertilizer thieves”?

    Some governors/ House of reps/senators whom Jonathan has not helped to rig to return to the house have decamped -This was achieved by electoral reform and you are not excited?

    I don’t know if you are a Northerner, i happen to have schooled in the North and just like Tinubu breed “Area boys” in lagos for politics,empowered them to exploit people thru omonile,land charges,spot charges,land space charges,parking charges,CBD,KAI,NURTW, etc, same way they the Northern big men feed these set of alamajiris on the Federal government instead of encouraging these people to go to school,learn a trade and be useful to themselves .

    Except you are one the ghost workers, otherwise you should be excited.

    Zechariah 4:10New Living Translation (NLT)
    Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

    (The seven lamps[a] represent the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.)

    Take care jare

  32. mulikat

    February 18, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Madam u are amoung the corruption group,so close ur mouth.

  33. Fisayo

    February 18, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Mulikat why attack the obvious truth? nene ride on leave haters. I am a yoruba and love your courage

  34. truenigerian

    February 18, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Mulikat is that why you should post a comment and like your self 304 times????

    Corrupt mushin girl shouting kwuruption loudest.

    We know your type and we are waiting for you.

  35. nnenne

    February 19, 2015 at 12:35 am

    The truth is that human beings are born with the instinct to lie and cheat. Sometimes culture, religion and values steer us away from doing corruption but all over the world people would steal if they could.
    There are some many loopholes in our system that encourages corruption. We indeed lack processes and structure. If you bring an average individual from the developed world to Nigeria given the system we have, they will do worst.

    Most of our leaders know this but they love it that way because they thrive on our chaos.
    Question is, how and where do we go from here?

    Flogging adults on the street and / or throwing. them in kirkiri jail (selectively), is not the way to go. That is so not 21st Century! !!

  36. scarlet

    February 19, 2015 at 11:44 am

    posting comments with different names to impress us? fooooooolish you!!! and all this gist from the oga madam is for votes right? next please….

  37. African Salon Dubai

    February 19, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Anybody knows Okonjo or if she reads this blog,,,she must check her kidneys urgently! Swollen hands are a sign of danger!

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