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Talking Law With Ivie Omoregie: Fraud Vs. Corruption – Determining the Greater Evil for Nigerians

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In my last article, I discussed the concept of 419 aka advanced fee fraud, some of the laws regulating fraud in Nigeria and the effectiveness of the legal enforcement framework.

This lead to a discussion that I found interesting. The initial discussion was premised on 419 and Nigeria’s international image. However, during the course of the discussion it then ventured onto “whether it is 419 or corruption which has had the most negative impact on the day to day life’s of the average Nigerian citizen”.

I have highlighted some of the points raised below:

Against Corruption

  • Corruption leads to the misappropriation of significantly more revenue than the world’s 419 activities combined;
  • Corruption has lead to the lack of opportunities, which has now formed the foundation for the majority’s interest in 419 activities;
  • Corruption is the reason why many international companies consider Nigeria a “high risk investment”;
  • Corruption is also the reason why there seems to be an ineffective law enforcement framework to punish persons errant of the law;
  • The government has not empowered the public and private sector with polices which engage youth in meaningful employment;
  • Aside from enacting laws which in reality will never be completely enforced, what are the alternative solutions proffered for these menaces.

Against 419

  • People choose the path which they wish to follow, and this can be either good or bad;
  • A minority of the population who are engaged in illegal activities are spoiling prospects for the majority;
  • Distrust caused by previous 419 activities is making it difficult for honest business men and women to do international trade or ask for any form of credit from their suppliers;
  • Majority of the 419 business men are motivated by an unnecessarily lavish lifestyle, investing the proceeds of their activities on cars, first class flights and champagne;

In light of what has been happening with politics in Nigeria recently and next year’s presidential elections, this is a topic I found interesting and I would like to hear your views on this.

Ivie Omoregie is the Founding Consultant at Skye Advisory. Skye Advisory is a boutique business advisory firm with locations in London, England, as well as Lagos, Nigeria. Skye Advisory offers bespoke Legal, Financial and General Business advisory services to small and micro businesses.  Ivie is a duly qualified lawyer with years of cross border experience in the areas of Corporate Advisory, Energy and Projects, Finance and Litigation.  Ivie is also an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association as well as an avid Business Advisor, Political Analyst and Human Rights promoter.  View more details about her at Follow her on Twitter @Ivie_Omoregie

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