Nigeria Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the fight against corruption in the country will continue to become more elusive to the amplitude that many people will be discouraged to stand against the menace.
The VP delivered his speech during the 20th-anniversary regional webinar organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The webinar was dubbed, ‘Combating corruption and illicit financial flows: New measures and strategies’.
Osinbajo, who depicted corruption as “hydra-headed”, also said Nigerians cannot relinquish the fight against the bane because it is their collective responsibility to develop new ways of combating it.
“The fight against corruption is nuanced and hydra-headed, it is not going to get easier by the day; as a matter of fact, it will get more difficult by the day and many will become discouraged in standing up against corruption,” Osinbajo said.
“But it is our duty both as individuals and institutions, especially in developing countries where corruption has such a devastating effect, to ensure that we prioritise the fight against corruption and continually devise new ways and new approaches even as the hydra-headed problem itself continues to manifest in different ways.”
He further said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been “demonstrating the political will and support for anti-corruption measures”, and in reference to him, has afforded all anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria the liberty to execute their work without interference.
The VP said corruption must therefore be made extravagant to the people who practice it with mandatory correctional actions.
Osinbajo also added that people who are in place to tackle corruption, including whistleblowers, must be guarded, as “corruption fights back”.
“We must make corruption expensive for those who engage in it and send the unequivocal message that corruption simply does not pay,” he said.
“It is the unenviable but noble task of the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies to make corruption unattractive to its disciples and facilitate new approaches to stemming IFFS and promoting asset recovery and return.
“We must protect, even more, whistle-blowers – persons who come forward with information against corruption.