Journalists and media houses have
been described as a major strategic partner in the anti-corruption
campaign in Nigeria.
The media practitioners were also commended for showing concern about
the need to bring corruption on its knees in a country where public
officials have stolen billions of dollars mostly kept in foreign
Speaking at the media round table held for editors in Lagos on Tuesday,
Chairman Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource
Centre) Mr Olanrewaju Suraju expressed appreciation for the role the
media has played in the vigorous campaign against corruption adding that
the media can still do more. Irohinoodua was present at the meeting
He reminded the journalists on need to show greater commitment to the
campaign against sleaze in Nigeria as a way of bringing an end to a
practice that continues to harm the country’s overall development.
“Corruption is like cancer. When allowed to grow, it will end human life
and destroy the fabric of human existence. Corruption is behind
underdevelopment, poverty, poor public health, high mortality and infant
mortality rates, violence and extremism. Any country overwhelmed by
corruption has no chance of survival”, Suraju said. Last week, HEDA the
foremost anti-corruption group said more than 4billion dollars have
been recovered for only one individual. The group said volumes of
financial transactions are highest in Lagos, Rivers and Kano involving
huge volume of cash, yet the states have no domestic anti-corruption
Suraju said there have been some improvements in the fight against
corruption in Nigeria. He said the anti-corruption survey conducted by
the United Nations, (UN) Office of Drug and Crime, (UNODC) indicated a
slight decline in corruption compared with the situation in 2016. He
however said that corruption continues to impugn the character of every
Nigerian in the comity of nations.
“We recognize the strategic role of the print and electronic media in
the fight against corruption. The media continues to be a major pillar
in this campaign. HEDA is willing to continue to collaborate with the
media to ensure Nigeria regains her reputation as the leading light in
Africa against kickback and illicit asset acquisition,” HEDA said.
He regretted that some high-profile Nigerians accused of corruption
still find their way into the National Assembly.
He said “One former governor has 800million pounds lodged abroad. There
is a Senator that has a house worth over 6million pounds. There is a
public official whose asset declaration went up by about 34 billion
naira, a governor in one of the states categorized as poor. There is the
need to work together to fight corruption.”
He said what the EFCC is doing in Nigeria is unparalleled compared with
the activities of anti-corruption institutions in many African
He said “The EFCC is doing a good job. What we have seen is increased
hurdles mounted by the Ministry of Justice. There is deep concern about
the commercialization of the whistle blower policy. EFCC needs to be
encouraged to do more. He said in the past one year, HEDA has conducted
18 anti-corruption situation room in the six-geo political zones of the
country in its bid to energise Nigerians in the anti-corruption drive.
The group also introduced some of its latest research publications one
of which is the third edition of a compendium of 100 high profile
corruption cases in Nigeria.