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Martin Varhnis

Consultant, Special Olympics

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How can corruption in the Nigerian political system be thwarted?

Any suggestions are appreciated; please cite sources to your argument rather than blathering on about it without proper knowledge. However, any discussion is good discussion!

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    Apr 16 2012: eeer, wait. how could we find sources to cite about an event that haven't happened yet? can we cite a future teller orb? nobody on the world is an expert of how to get rid of corruption, or if there is, his track record is pathetic. how to fight corruption is an ongoing debate, and honestly, i haven't seen any convincing result so far. even the much easier question of what the causes of corruption are is very complex, and i believe largely unanswered.
    • Apr 16 2012: I think there is a simple solution.

      The society needs to demand and embrace transparency on all level of government and corporate structure.

      It is also important to teach kids and general population about ethics, morality. Civil servants need to receive decent wages so they are less likely to take bribes.

      Here is a positive news from Nigeria:
      http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/nigerias-corruption-busters.html
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        Apr 16 2012: good, but how to achieve that? it is rather obvious that transparency is a perfect solution, it is democratic, it does not hurt freedom. but who will implement it? surely not a corrupt government.
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          Apr 16 2012: Nigeria is in attempts of being a democratic government (though it is running off of a uni-party system), and complaints from the Nairaland forum are rampant. I believe their corruption issue could be solved through UN-imposed embargos.. as Nigeria works off of oil-rents and exports, this would pain such a corrupt government to try and enact change.

          I'm a firm believer in money being a changing factor; be it trade embargos or foreign aid retainment.

          As for implementation of transparency, such things must be taught, as Zdenek says, at a young age (described here: http://www.leadership.ng/nga/articles/17403/2012/02/26/how_end_corruption_nigeria_–_icpc_boss.html)

          Once such a thing is taught, the young age group must implement it. Civilian to State, rather than any other fashion. I'm a dreamer, I suppose.
        • Apr 17 2012: There are many ways that lead to transparency. Even if government is generally corrupt, if the elected leader has fight of corruption on his/her agenda then things can change.

          Another option is for people to organize themselves and demand more transparency. People can start at local level within their community.

          News reporters and bloggers can also play important role in showing corruption and explaining laws that need to be created to fight corruption.

          cheers
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          Apr 17 2012: Zdenek, what do you think of this? It is a counter-argument to my trade-embargo idea; a more humane pathway I suppose:

          If the United Nations were to put their foot down and decree that Nigeria is to not be given foreign aid unless their political leadership became transparent in their financial spending down to the single naira, corruption would become very difficult to preserve. The UN must participate in the sanctioning of this decree; hiring a third-party group (using part of Nigeria’s proposed foreign aid injection) to fully evaluate the finances of Nigeria for an extended period of time. This third-party group could later hire Nigerian citizens with basic mathematical or accounting skills in order to teach them as permanent watchdogs of the Nigerian government. All participants must be paid handsomely in order to hamper the possibility of being bribed. All interactions with governing members of Nigeria must be watched closely to ensure the forestalling of bribery and all finances being accounted for. Even if this sounds like an expensive, lengthy, and drastic step, it is a necessary one for Nigeria to move forward and away from the plague of monetary corruption.

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