The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) issued a warning against the misappropriation of public monies on Thursday in Abuja.
At a two-day capacity-building session for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, ICPC Chairman Prof. Bolaji Owasannoye sounded the alarm.
He disapproved of the misappropriation of public finances in both revenue collection and expenditure, as well as illegal financial flow, improper use of funds, and budget bloat.
He asserted that it was time to take on corruption head-on and noted that Nigerians had not yet realised the death knell it represented.
He issued a warning that the nation will suffer more consequences if residents did not address the moral concerns around corruption.
Owasannoye observed that while integrity was lacking, anti-corruption laws were never in short supply in Nigeria.
He added that high level hypocrisy had made matters worse.
He sees the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the CBN, and the Bureau of Public Procurement as the anti-corruption gatekeepers.
He said that the majority of regulatory bodies had anti-corruption responsibilities.
Owasannoye observed that corruption accentuated political patronage and encouraged sabotage of governance, stressing that funds appropriated on paper, were never used for the purpose for which they were meant.
In his remarks, Rep. Shehu Garba, Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, noted that the challenge and the fight against corruption had remained a topical issue.
He said that the ills of corruption had been well documented, adding that Nigerians did not need to be reminded of the consequences.
Garba added that corruption denied citizens a promising future and development, adding that it was heart-warming when the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration made the fight against corruption one of its tasks.
He said that the fight against corruption remained multi-dimensional; involving all institutions, adding that there would be no success without collaboration.
The lawmaker added that information sharing and capacity building workshops were crucial in the fight against corruption.
In his contribution, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, Director-General, National Institute for Legislative Studies, commended the National Assembly for the continuous building of staff capacity.
This, he said, had reflected in the 9th assembly, especially in the way it took the issue of the fight against corruption seriously.
He added that the workshop was important as the current Federal Government administration winds down.
Suleiman stressed that corruption also fuelled instability and conflicts.
He noted that there had been allegations of non-payment of allowances of security operatives, which according to him, undermines the fight against insecurity.
“Corruption undermines security and human capacity development,’’ he stressed.
Marija Peran, the Resident Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a German political foundation, decried the complex security challenges and corruption in the security sector.
She said that corruption in the security sector had a detrimental impact, both on security apparatuses and on wider peace and security.
Peran said the German foundation’s core mandate was to strengthen good democratic governance and the rule of law, adding that the fight against corruption was an integral part of its mandate.