Establishment, Approval of State Anti-Corruption Agency, Mere Grandstanding - SPN - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
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Socialist Party of Nigeria has described the establishment and approval of Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency as a mere grandstanding, stressing that only democratic control and management of public funds by working people can instill transparency and stamp out corruption.

Oyo State Chapter of the SPN, in a statement signed by its state secretary, Ayodeji Adigun said the attention of the party has been drawn to the recent decision of the Oyo State House of Assembly to pass the bill initiated by the Governor Seyi Makinde-led government for the establishment of a state anti-corruption agency and subsequent screening of the proposed members of the commission.

It would be recalled that the Oyo State House of Assembly recently screened and confirmed the nomination the state anti-corruption board members which includes retired Justice Eni Esan; Chairman of the Board, Oyebade Oyedepo; the ICAN representative, Deaconess Esther Olapade, A.S Ahaolu; DSS representative, SP Ehindero Lawrence; the police representative; Ibrahim Oyemonla; Director from Justice Ministry and Barrister Temitope Ayorinde.

The statement says: “SPN decries the prevailing cases of corrupt practices in public offices in the state and welcomes every genuine effort to stamp out corruption which is an impediment to the economic growth of the state. However, it must also be noted that the attempt by the Makinde-led government to reduce the effort to curb the ugly menace of corrupt practice in the state to the creation of a state anti-corruption agency which is nothing but unnecessary proliferation of anti-corruption agencies is just a mere grandstanding. For instance, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was created to fight financial crimes but it has not deterred corrupt practices even though some corrupt persons have been arrested and prosecuted while many privileged corrupt practices remain untouchable.”

 

Part of the statement further reads: “As far as the SPN is concerned, to curb the rising and deepening cases of corruption in the state, it requires more far reaching approach and measures than just a mere creation of anti-corruption agency. A measure like placing public funds and resources at the disposal of the state under a democratic control and management by the elected representatives of the working people is a very crucial and fundamental step any government that desires to curb corruption must be willing to take.”


SPN said if the entire resources at the disposal of the state, which include monthly allocation received from the federal government and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) are subjected to a democratic control and management of a committee or board that is made of elected representatives of workers’ organizations like NLC, TUC, NBA, ASUU; representative of political parties, civil society organizations and community organizations among others, it will help to end the age-long regime of secrecy over the actual amount of fund that comes to the coffers of the state on monthly basis, stressing that it would ensure that those funds no matter how little would be judiciously used on the areas of need of the people as it would make it difficult to be looted by the politicians whether in government or business through any form of disguise.

“SPN also notes that security votes and contract system including the so called policy of public private partnership, PPP are the most fraudulent ways through which every government formed by pro-capitalist parties like APC, PDP among others often use to loot public resources. Therefore, we hold that, if truly Makinde-led government is interested in transparency and accountability including an end to corrupt practices, the regime is hereby challenged to publicly declare how much it earns as security votes and submit same just like every other fund earned and generated by the state to a democratic management and control of the working people as highlighted above. This is against the current practice whereby only the Governor and his acolytes usually have the knowledge of how much is at the disposal of the state including the security vote which Governor is allowed to spend without any need to be accountable to the citizens, ” the statement said.

Other parts of the statement reads: “The contract system including the PPP is a fraudulent way through which politicians and their friends who masquerade as contractors steal public fund and thereby throw the State into a needless debt crisis of billions of naira. Therefore, to curb corruption in this regard is to totally abolish this costly and corrupt contract system and replace it with a public work programme. This will mean that the Ministry of Works will be furnished with adequate equipment, expertise and manpower to undertake mass public works like mass building of schools, hospitals, roads, mass housing, water-works and mass electrification among other developmental projects in the State. Also, all state projects should be subjected to the monitoring and supervision under the elected representatives of the community people where such project is to be situated and an elected representatives of relevant workers organizations.”

“Unfortunately, the latest decision by the Makinde-led to concede the control and management including the exploration of Pace Setter Quarry and Asphalt Plant situated in Ijaye to Carboncor International Technology Limited, the company reportedly owned by former governor Rashidi Ladoja, under the same dubious arrangement of PPP shows that the regime will never have the courage to undertake this kind of measures. The SPN faults this concession and calls for its immediate reversal.”

“If the activities and exploration of plant boost the wealth generated by the state as claimed by the Governor, the reality is that as long as this arrangement is based on PPP, whatever that is generated will never translate into any improvement in the living condition of the mass of the working people in the state. Instead, it will end up being appropriated by Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the owner of International Technology Limited. It is in the light of this SPN further demands that the control and exploration of the plant and several of mineral resources in the state be handled by the relevant state ministries like ministry of works, natural and mineral resources under the elected representative of workers and communities.”

“It is through this kind of arrangement that whatever wealth generated through the exploration of the plant, if invested in the areas of needs of the people can contribute to improving the living condition of the working people in the state at the same time provides some gainful employment opportunities with right to pension and a right to join trade union of choice. This is unlike casual employment opportunity with slavery working condition, which is the usual practice in many private companies in the state.”

“Beyond all of these is also to note, that given the fact that capitalism itself is a system that nurtures and promotes corruption, we of the SPN are conscious of the fact that no government built on the basis of this kind system driven by exploitation and corruption will ever be able to conduct a serious fight against corrupt practice. This is why it is not surprising, the kind of lip service and cosmetic approach of the Makinde-led government to the effort to curb corrupt practices in the state.”

“Therefore, to us, only a government of workers and the poor which is formed on the basis of socialist programme is capable of conducting a genuine fight to curb corrupt practices in the state and set an example nationally. It is in the light of this we call on workers, youths and all the oppressed people in the state to join SPN and build it toward the effort to enthrone a socialist government that will be able to end the menace of corruption and ensure that the wealth of the state is translated into improvement in the living condition of the vast majority of the working people in the state,” the party concluded.

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