By Ameh Gabriel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Corruption has been a persistent phenomenon in Nigeria. Statistics shows in 2018 that Nigeria was ranked 144th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International’s Corruption Index (with Somalia, at 180th, being the most corrupt, and Denmark the least). Though, the federal government of Nigeria has made efforts to cub, eradicate and to minimize corruption through the enactment of laws and the enforcement of integrity systems, these have achieved very little success.
This was expressed by the Chief Executive Officer of Step Up Nigeria, Mrs Onyinye Ough at the launch of the book titled “Tosin’s Story”, held in Abuja on Monday, December 2, 2019.
Mrs. Ough stated that the aim of the book launch was to create an early awareness in the minds of Nigerian growing youths, on the “effect of shunning corrupt practices, the reward for honesty and integrity at any levels and also getting all stakeholders involved in the elimination of corruption which has eaten so deep into all facets of Nigerian system”.
She noted that, greed, ostentatious lifestyle, customs, and people’s attitudes are believed to have led to increased corruption in Nigeria, adding that one of the root causes of corruption is tribalism coupled with friends and kinsmen seeking favor from officials at different offices which impose pressure and strain on the ethical disposition of the official, as these kinsmen and friends see government officials as holding avenues for their personal survival and gain.
Also speaking on the need for early sensitization of the minds of Nigerian youths on the effect of corruption and the reward for honesty and integrity, Mrs Fola Olayede, a parent of two students at the battle Axe Academy, expressed sadness over how corruption has been embraced in Nigeria today as almost a norm, but also gave credits to organizations like Step Up Nigeria Nigeria for creating such an avenue to disabuse early the minds of the nigerian youths about corrupt practices and encouraging honesty, hard work and integrity.
She cited how her son was made the head boy of the school after observing his honest lifestyle, and that has made her son to be conscious of his actions even after school and among his friends.
The Sight News crew spoke with a few students who shared their opinions about corruption in Nigeria and the book “Tosin story” that talked about corrupt practices in the form of brown envelopes and the reward for honesty and integrity.
According to Miss Olayemu Aremu, a primary six student of Battle Axe Academy, she learnt during the book review and the drama play acted by the Thatch house crew, that corruption in any form is bad and can cause death, not only of a person, but many, adding that she now believes that integrity pays and she would start practicing being honest at all cost because she wants to be a leader in Nigeria someday.
Speaking further on the availability of the book Tosin Story, the CEO Step Up Nigeria, said the book can be gotten at Amazon International, while in Nigeria, it is available at moving height stores, an online and physical bookstores. Also in Lagos, it’s available at Clemdora & Ataba and in JUMIA.