Nigeria lost US$4.3bn to graft between 2011 and 2015 – Report

Muhammadu Buhari. Photo : Odoji Stephen - Opinionnigeria.com

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – A total of 32 entities stole $4.3b in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015, ADV learnt here on Thursday.

The country’s Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu made the revelation at an event held in Lagos this week.

A statement read on his behalf by the commission’s Secretary, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, said “One third of this money, using World Bank rates and cost, could have comfortably been used to construct well over 500km of roads.

“The money could have been used to build close to 200 schools; educate about 4, 000 children from primary to tertiary levels at N25 million per child; build 20, 000 units of two-bedroom houses across the country and do even more.

“The cost of this grand theft, therefore, is that these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education.

“This is because a few rapacious individuals have cornered for themselves what would have helped secure the lives of the future generations thereby depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others,” he said.

Mr. Olukoyede blamed the theft on the poor state of procurement process in Nigeria.

He described it as “one of the major reasons why corruption had continued to thrive in government agencies and parastatals”.

Magu identified some of the fraudulent practices in procurement processes to include kickbacks, conflict of interests, fraud in the bidding process, bid suppression among others, he said in the statement.

But analysts believe that political corruption is a persistent phenomenon in Nigeria and that the rise of public administration and the discovery of oil and natural gas are two major events believed to have led to the sustained increase in the incidence of corrupt practices in the country.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng