Elder statesman and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaira, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, says that the country is losing the war against corruption.
According to Abdullahi, this could be attributed to the failure to identify the root cause of the menace.
President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly identified war on corruption as a major policy thrust of his administration.
But Abdullahi, who is the Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), said that the menace of corruption appears to be worse than it used to be in previous years.
“I think we have lost the war on corruption rather than winning it,” the elder statesman said in an interview with Sunday Sun.
“From my impression, I think, first and foremost we should be very clear about sources of corruption in Nigeria.
“We must know where the sources of corruption in the country are unless you want to chase shadows. What are really the roots? Are you paying workers well?
“To my mind, the sources of corruption in Nigeria are largely from our public services. Yes, the corruption is largely within our public services and if indeed they are and I have no doubt that they are, we don’t appear to be winning the war on corruption, we don’t appear to be winning the war at all.
“Some people may even argue that there is more corruption now than there was some years ago. In fact, in our first republic you can say there was very little corruption and in the military regime that followed, I mean the Gowon’s regime there was very little corruption because it was a continuation of our first republic leadership. But then from there on and I think up to Murtala time he came out very vigorously to fight corruption and to some extent, there was some attention being paid.
“But corruption began to rarely strive in the country from the public services actions in the last three decades or so and it is on the increase as I speak to you now.
“There is no equity, balance, and justice in the public service. The Senate President has just told us that his salary in a month, leave out allowances is N750, 000, he gets this money every 30 days as a member of the National Assembly; forget about his being the Senate President.
“But the issue concerning a minimum wage of ordinary N18,000 has been difficult for them to pay. The N18, 000 is not up to somebody’s tea allowance. In the minister’s office, the money is not up to daily entertainment allowance.
“Are you not aware that many states have said they will not be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage? This is a wage you expect a family man to use for feeding, pay school fees of the children, pay for house rent, etc, how will the person cope?
“This cannot be sustained and unless this matter is addressed seriously, I can’t see a peaceful Nigeria.”