Corruption blown out of proportion in Nigeria - Jonathan

21 Mar 2014 11:00

President Goodluck Jonathan said in Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday
that corruption in Nigeria had been blown out of proportion and the
trend was taking its tows on the image of the country.

The president stated this at a meeting with the Nigerian community in
Namibia held at the Country Club, Windhoek.

He said "corruption is everywhere" but it is over-celebrated in the
country to the extent that the nation and its people are stigmatised.

The president stressed that while his administration would not condone
the menace, using big stick would not be a solution to end corruption.

He said in fighting corruption, government had continued to strengthen
the relevant institutions in nipping the menace in the bud.

In buttressing his point, the president said that with the
promulgation of decrees and relevant laws stipulating capital
punishment for armed robbery, the menace had not stopped.

The president therefore called on every Nigerian to resolve to do the
right thing and support the government in its efforts at building a
new Nigeria.

He assured that if all hands were on deck and the citizens cooperated
with the government, the nation would be completely transformed in the
next 10 years.

"The green passport should be a symbol of honour, respect and dignity,
not humiliation," he said.

He stressed that Nigeria was a great country and with certain definite
steps the administration was taking, it would take its rightful
position in the globe.

Jonathan assured the gathering that with all the political tension
being created by the opposition in the country, he would not play
politics with the development of the nation.

He said that the government had taken pragmatic steps to end the
challenges of oil theft and piracy before 2015.

Earlier, the Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr Olusegun Aganga,
had charged the Nigerian in the Diaspora to build sovereign goodwill
for the country wherever they are.

He said a lot of opportunities were available for them in the country
and they could key into the transformation agenda of the government
even from their countries of residence.

The minister said that Namibia exported fish and salt to Nigeria and
therefore encouraged the audience to go into partnership and see how
the technology could be brought back to Nigeria.

He said with the signing of 11 Memoranda of Understanding between both
countries, there were opportunities for them to tap into it to make
money and contribute positively to national development.

The Nigeria High Commissioner to Namibia, Dr Biodun Olorunfemi, said
that about 2,000 Nigerians were resident in Namibia and they had been
good ambassadors of the nation without any taint record.

He said there was no single Nigerian in the Namibian prison, unlike in
South Africa, and most of the people were contributing positively in
the development of the country, particularly in the education, health
and informal business sectors.

According to him, the Surveyor-General of Namibia, Dr Ugochukwu
Okafor, is a Nigerian while the President-General of the Nigerian
Community, Alhaji Buba Maidugu, works as a principal officer in the
office of the Prime Minister of Namibia.

Maidugu in his earlier address, said that he was sent by the Federal
Government to Namibia 24 years ago in company of 49 others,
specifically for capacity building, when the country gained
independence.

He said that when they came, mathematics and science subjects were
exclusive reserve of the colonial whites while the few Namibians in
schools were forced to read other subjects.

Maidugu said his team started the teaching of mathematics and sciences
in Namibian schools and had graduated many Namibian doctors and
scientists.

He said that between 1995 and 2000, all hospitals in Namibia were
managed by Nigerian doctors.

Okafor, the Namibian Surveyor-General, commended President Jonathan on
the privatisation of the power sector.

He also suggested the setting up of special tribunal to be presided
over by retired judges in trying corruption cases.

NAN reports that the president inspected Sat-Com Communication
Systems, Namibian indigenous manufacturers of armoured tanks, military
wares and communication system.
Fin24