Prof. Ifeolu Koni, a law professor at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, has said that the failure of many developed countries to honour their obligations under international instruments is responsible for persistent corruption in Africa.
Koni said this while presenting the 11th inaugural lecture of the university on Thursday at the university premises in Ede.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture has the theme” The Hypocrisy of International Cooperation on the War against Corruption and Abuse of Office in Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria.”
The don said that the insincerity and refusal of the developed countries to honour the United Nations Convention against Corruption was also the primary reason siphoning of stolen funds and other corrupt practices persist across Africa.
Koni noted that the developed countries possessed the necessary technology to detect and block illicit funds transfers. Still, they refused to use the same because they needed the same to build their nations. ” This contention is further strengthened by the notorious fact that the developed countries possess the technology to detect and block illicit transfer of funds from African states.”
” Could it mean they refuse to block those funds because they are needed and used to develop their countries?”
” The way forward is for Africa to look inward and not be deceived by the campaign spearheaded by the developed countries. Our salvation and deliverance is in our hands.
” It is the same developed countries that are labelling Africans as corrupt, and it is the same illicit funds they refused to block, they are using to develop their countries,” he said.
Koni also said it was sad that in the corruption assessment ranking conducted by Transparency International (TI) in 2022, no African country could be found among the top 10 least corrupt countries.
The don said that since the establishment of TI in 1993 and the commencement of its corruption perception index in 1995, African countries have been performing poorly.
Koni said African leaders must look inward to minimize corruption, saying corruption is not in African DNA. ” Corruption is not in our DNA; the pre-colonial Africa was clean, built on ethical solid value, but this was destroyed by colonialism,” he said.
Koni also said that Nigeria must strengthen its implementation of laws against corruption.
According to him, the greatest challenge of Nigeria is not corruption but impunity.
“Until the law begins to take its cause in Nigeria, the fight against corruption cannot succeed,” he said.
Koni also said Nigeria must avoid conspicuous consumption of foreign goods, adding,” We should consume what we produce.”
Let us consume what we produce. The developed countries introduced conspicuous consumption to us, which is the basis of corruption in the country.”
In his remarks, Prof. Ahmed Yerima, the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the lecture was a clarion call for Nigerians to change their ways
” Corruption has always been here with us, which is why I am happy that the inaugural lecturer found it pertinent to discuss the topic at a time like this”.
” We must all come together to fight corruption to move our society forward”, he said.