FG Not Doing Enough To Stop Corruption – U.S. Diplomat

The United States Assistant Secretary of State, African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has berated the level of corruption in Nigeria with the view that the political class is not doing enough to stop it.

Speaking on the Saturday edition of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise’, Ms Greenfield said “This is something that embarrasses all Nigerians, I know.”

“Given the fact that corruption has been pervasive in Nigeria for so many years; I think additional political will is required to address the issue.”

Probed further by Anchor, Kayode Akintemi, she said whatever effort that is currently being made by the Nigerian government “is not cutting it, and it is not cutting it in many places in Africa, not just in Nigeria, and it is a deterrent to investments coming into this country.”

“I know that there are people who want to invest but they changed their minds because they get pushed in a different direction because of corruption.”

She went on to state examples of corrupt practises ongoing in Nigeria, that the US government is aware of, stating that it was a conversation that the US government has had with Nigeria for many years that Nigeria ought to be “the African tiger in terms of economic growth” but one thing that is holding it back is corruption.

She stressed that she knew Nigeria quite well, having been studying the country since her first visit in 1978, in addition to her experience in foreign service on the African continent, and corruption had always been an issue.

Ms Greenfield added that the issues of corruption are not for the American government to deal with on behalf of Nigeria, but the country would have to make its own efforts.

U.S. Consul-General Urges Nigerian Youths To Take Responsibility For 2015 Election

Nigerians have again been advised to safeguard democracy and ensure that the country has free and fair polls in 2015.

This charge is from the U.S. Consul-General in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, who was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Hubert Humphrey Annual Lecture, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.

Delivering the keynote address at the lecture which had as its theme, ‘The Democratic Journey in Nigeria, Learning From the American Experience’, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins said the lecture was not meant to praise the US democratic system but an opportunity for Nigeria to learn from its shortcomings.

“As you all know for example, my country just went through a 2 week government shutdown, where civil servants were forced to sit home while all but essential government services ground to a halt. Many observers in the United States and overseas asked themselves how and why this could happen in one of the strongest democracies in the world.”

Speaking on Nigeria’s democratic process, he said “in 2015, Nigeria again will go to the ballot box and I call on the young men and women here to explore the abundant resources and great opportunities in the nation to take up responsibility to make your voices heard for peace and progress, to project a powerful voice against corruption, advocate for positive change, and provide generational insight on development issues.”

The chairman of the occasion was the National President of the Nigeria-America Chamber Of Commerce (NACC), Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Olabintan Famutimi.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme is a programme for mid-career professionals, sponsored by the US State Department. The 2013 edition had professionals, security officials, diplomats, and students in attendance.