By Samuel Oyejola
Foremost economist and the founder of the Lagos Business School, Professor Pat Utomi has said the food shortage crisis in the North-East zone of the country is the same level with the Somali famine.
The erudite scholar lamented that despite the sorry state of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the Zone some government officials entrusted with materials meant to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs still siphoned them.
Utomi described such act as not only criminal but crime against humanity. The one time Presidential aspirant stated this at an anti-corruption event organized by the All Progressives Congress Volunteers and the Transparency and Anti-Corruption Campaign International (TRACA) tagged National Colloquium on Anti-Corruption 2017 to mark the international Anti-corruption day on Saturday in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal was indicted on some contracts awarded on the Presidential Initiative on the North East.
Utomi suggested that institutions must be strong enough to control the elite while consequences should be guaranteed for every act of corruption. He explained that people who steal the commonwealth of the country are not helping the younger generation. He described them as being penny wise pounds foolish.
“We have gotten the whole corruption thing wrong. The rich think they are entitled to it but they are hurt the more. The institutions must be strong to control the elite. There should be consequence for behaving wrongly.” He said.
While lamenting that there are no consequences for wrong actions in Nigeria he affirmed that when Nigerians know that there are consequences for their behaviors they would get used to doing the right thing.
“When you know the consequences of behavior you will get use to doing the right thing. In Nigeria there is no consequence.”
He also pointed out that the institution for transparency is very important. He advised Nigerians to see the fight against corruption as their fight and support the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independence Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau in the fight.
“We have not being able to get Nigerians to make the institutions work. Nigeria must see the EFCC, ICPC, CCB as their own. We must make the institution to make it difficult to do wrong than wait for them to do it and catch.
“If we have systems that are forced to be transparent then it will become more difficult to do those things the more it becomes a habit not to do it. That is how we can make progress.”