Who Will Head Nigeria’s Bribe Collection Commission?

Who Will Head Nigeria’s Bribe Collection Commission?

10th March 2024 NewsOrient
Opinion, Column, News, Governance And Development

PUT the Steve Oronsaye Report on hold. We need to create a new Commission urgently. The tentative should be the Nigeria Bribe Collection Commission. There are multiple reasons for the urgency in setting up the Commission, but one should suffice for now – the President should have nothing to do with regulating bribery.

The mistake he made in Qatar exposed a national challenge that should be tackled quickly. Now that the President has made a promise to an international audience to track bribery, there would be security implications that were not thought through.

There would be time to ask what the anti-corruption agencies do, aside blocking the street and harassing passers-by as EFCC does. The President by deciding to act personally has given his verdict on them.

Bribery is just an aspect of corruption though deeply rooted in different manifestations that some forget other planks of corruption that Wikipedia listed as, graft, inflating contracts, trading in influence or influence pedding, patronage, nepotism and cronyism, gombeenism and parochialism, electoral fraud, embezzlement, kickbacks, unholy alliance, and organised crime.

We could need a whole Ministry to deal with these.

How many Qatari businesses would be calling the President to report that a Nigerian official demanded bribe? If one believes reports of how wide spread the practices are, the President could spend his entire tenure answering these calls.

Other countries would rightly demand that if businessmen from tiny Qatar could speak directly to the Nigerian President why not theirs?

How would the President cope? Do we know that when the President is on a private visit to France, these businessmen could invade his privacy with calls?

If we extend these privileges to foreign businessmen, why should Nigerians be excluded? Has charity ceased to begin at home?

Should Nigerians not have the right of first refusal in reporting bribes to the President? Is there proof that our businesses are not badgered with demands for bribes?

Since we have agreed that the President should not be directly involved in this project, we have to determine allegations that should deserve the attention ofthe Commission.

It would have been tough for less experienced business people to understand the challenge and the deep perspectives that made the President to decide to confront it directly, personally.

Earlier administrations embraced challenges instead of confronting them. Now, we have a President who barely gets any sleep. His Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale in an interview said the President never sleeps before 2am daily, including Sundays. We can spare the President more time to sleep to avoid him drifting off in public.

The Commission’s first mandate would be to ensure that every complainant deposits the amount allegedly demanded in a special account. The money would be in the account until the matter is satisfactorily determined. Frivolous reports would thus be avoided.

The second would be to retrieve all President’s numbers that could have fallen into wrong hands otherwise people could set up their own Commission.

Another mandate of the Commission would be set a time frame for bribe-offering businessmen to conclude transactions that are already in the works.

The Commission would ensure that only transactions from the date of the President’s Qatari speech would be entertained.

For now, the President should be bothered with how to fulfil his promise to the international community.

The easiest way is to arrest all those who say a word against the President fighting bribery in line with the Qatari Declaration for they do not wish the administration well.

NDUBUISI Ekekwe, Co-chair, Abia State Economic Transformation Council, Member, Abia State Global Economic Advisory Council, posted this on X: “As we celebrate the Geometric Power Aba, let me remind everyone of something even as catalytic for the economic development of Abia State. Yes, the Enyimba Economic City (EEC, a 9,464 hectare tax and duty free special economic zone in Abia State, is a vibrant integrated city with growth sectors covering Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare, Entertainment, Education, Innovation, Technology hub, Commercial, Lifestyle, Residential, Aviation, and more.

In Nigeria today, there is no comparison, and the world is converging: “Today India and Nigeria do about $11 billion volume of trade and it is fluctuating between $11 to $15 billion.

So with this new Economic City, we are targeting towards increasing this trade between the two countries to $20 billion. And we are proud to say that there are more than 76 Indian companies, who have registered their interest, setting up their manufacturing facilities inside Enyimba and these companies are from diverse sectors,” Vishal Jhadav.

The World Economic Forum in 2013 honoured Ekekwe as a Young Global Leader for his professional accomplishments and commitment to society. Jhadav, who he quoted is Enyimba Economic City’s Foreign Direct Investments, FDI, Consultant, India Region. Geometric Power is Enyimba’s Partner with which Enyimba Economic City has a power purchase agreement for 90MW, for the first phase of the City. Ekekwe knows what je is saying.

AT an award event, Governor Umaru Bago of Niger State agreed with Peter Obi that it was an inexplicable shame for war-torn Ukraine to donate food to Nigeria. His alignment with Obi on the issue was profound. He called Obi “my boss”.

A trending picture of Bago greeting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at floor level has raised questions. Was Bago apologising for calling Obi his boss, disagreeing with the Federal Government on Ukraine’s gift, or that is how he normally greets the President?

PEOPLE pin so much hope on the future that they have a saying for it, “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. Has anyone seen the Nigerian tunnel?

CHIEF Olusegun Obasanjo seems to have a thing for Zimbabwe. It was in Harare, 31 years ago, during the June 12 election agitations, that he told us that Chief MKO Abiola was not the messiah we thought.

Only days ago, he told the government to learn from Zimbabwe’s inflation. Was he saying things would get worse?

OMOYELE Sowore and Deji Adeyanju became lawyers last week. The first lawlessness the mint lawyers tackled was EFCC officials who blocked the side of the road where their headquarters is located in Utako, Abuja.

The horrendous traffic jam their action caused made some people spend hours to get to the Law School graduation ceremony.

Patients to a federal medical facility in the vicinity were also affected. An altercation ensued when EFCC officials accused the duo, who trekked by the EFFC office of trying to take pictures of the edifice. The officers backed down when they realised who they were up against.

FOOD security is another buzzword that its users tend not to realise that it means nothing unless insecurity was conquered. Niger State Governor Umaru Bago has boasted that he would soon win an award for increasing food production.

He anchored his plans on the State which had cleared one million acres of land for farming. Niger is Nigeria’s largest State by land mass. Its 76,363 km², is about 10 percent of Nigeria’s land area.

But the intensity of insecurity in Niger State forbids any meaningful agricultural activities.

SENATE President, His Excellency, Obong Godwills Akpabio managed his tongue a lot better in the past weeks after the humiliating apology he made to Governors over his false claims that they got N30 billion hardship allowance.

His latest salient contribution to national discourse was to deny being a principal officer of the Senate under the leadership of Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The disclaimer was important for Akpabio to praise his leadership which he said ensured Senators got funds for their constituency projects unlike under Saraki.

In a rapid response, Saraki Media was short of calling Akpabio the President’s Boy for the speed with which he approves loans for the administration.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues.

~ NewsOrient