A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, yesterday said corruption has swallowed up the nation’s collective values.
A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo said the creation of additional states, the oil boom and sharing of funds from the Federation Account contribute to Nigeria’s current near collapse.
The two eminent Nigerians spoke at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, at this year’s annual conference of the Faculty of Arts with the theme: The Humanities and Good Governance.
Anyaoku was the chairman of the occasion and Soludo, who was the guest speaker, spoke on: Nigeria: Towards the Creation of Incentives and Structures for Good Governance.
Dignitaries at the event included Prof Stella Okunna, who represented Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; and the National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, among others.
Anyaoku said: “At the moment, the entire nation is treated to the mind-boggling and sickening details that are coming out from the fuel subsidy probe and the police pension scam.
“Misappropriation of public funds used to be described in millions; now it is reported in billions and even trillions.
“Corruption has so seriously eaten deep into the fabric of our society that it has virtually swallowed up our collective values. There is hardly any sector of our national life that has been spared by this affliction, including even the family that was, until recently, the last line of defence and hope.
“We read in newspapers that some parents acquiesce in, and often support examination malpractices by their children or wards. This is not to talk about many of our communities that approbate and festoon very rich individuals, including public servants, with dubious sources of enrichment.
“In addition to reinvigorating the work of the anti-corruption agencies, such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and ensuring that those involved in corruption are seen to be punished, the attack on corruption in Nigeria must begin in the education sector.
“We must return to the basics by remodeling our schools’ curricula and encouraging our teachers to teach Civics and the virtues of service to the community and country in our primary and secondary schools.