The acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said that the government has been able to deal with what he called grand corruption but not yet successful to resolve the problems around contract fraud, contract corruption or the attitudes of regulatory authorities.
Osinbajo stated this in his remarks at the unveiling of Mojec International Metering Facility in Lagos.
“One of the biggest, if not the biggest problem we have, is rent-seeking, corruption. It is one of the biggest problems we have. Resolving the issues around corruption itself is not a walk in the park, because just grand corruption alone is what we have been able to deal with.
“By grand corruption I mean just simply going to the treasury to take out resources and sharing it. That we have been able to stop. That accounts for the reason why we are able to put the investments we are putting in infrastructure, we are able to ensure that money goes to where it ought to go.
“That does not mean in any way, that we have been able to resolve the problems around contract fraud, contract corruption or the attitudes of regulatory authorities. That is quite another matter, but again we have to deal with it,” he said.
The acting president said without the private sector, economic growth is at best a mirage and enjoined the private sector participants to join in the fight against corruption.
“I want to say to those of you in the private sector, this issue of fighting corruption and rent-seeking is existential for us all. It is not government business alone; it affects everything, it affects the judgement of those who make decisions that affects business and our economic growth.
“I think it is important that the private sector should invest in calling out those who make these things difficult, or those doing things that are wrecking our economy and the businesses that you stand for.
“We must see ourselves as partners, government and private sector, not just in the incentive regime, not just in providing facilities and incentives, but also in fighting what you and I know, is the basic problem of our country and one of the major problems of our economy,” he added.
Osinbajo also said the government wants to create an environment where there is a kind of partnership that makes things work which is why “one of the first executive orders that we signed, executive order 001, was to look at how to improve efficiencies and change attitudes.”
“One of the major issues is a change of attitude, because by and large, you find that regulatory authorities, who are individuals, given to indiscretion, tend to be difficult and create obstacles rather than be facilitators, which is what they ought to be.
“They do this for various reasons; some it is rent-seeking purposes, others it is because they like to exercise authority one way or the other. But whichever it is, it is important that the change of attitude is inculcated, and we are working hard on that.
“One of the biggest, if not the biggest problem we have, is rent-seeking, corruption. It is one of the biggest problems we have. Resolving the issues around corruption itself is not a walk in the park.
“In some ways, we have been able to change some things, but by and large, we are still at the point where we know what the problem is and know what the issues are, but we are not at the point where we can say we made a difference in terms of changing attitudes,” said Osinbajo.