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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Obasanjo identifies matter of urgent national emergency in Nigeria

Obasanjo identifies matter of urgent national emergency in Nigeria

Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has harped on the urgent need for a review of Nigeria’s public procurement policies to promote business integrity, eliminate corrupt practices and drive national transformation.

Speaking during the 6th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity entitled: ‘The Role of Business Integrity in National Transformation’, in Lagos, Obasanjo said integrity in business must start from those at the top in government.

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Obasanjo noted that the awards of contracts, supply, service contracts and others are usually loaded with provisions for bribes and kickbacks.

He identified poor investment, poverty, infrastructural decay, institutional inefficiency and wide range of socio-economic crisis as some of the negative consequences of corrupt practices and lack of integrity in public and private businesses.

According to Obasanjo, “As Africans, we need to look inward, we need value and reorientation that is anchored on our virtues of truthfulness, hospitality, respect, honesty, obedience and patriotism.

“And as a matter of urgent national emergency, Nigeria must re-invigorate efforts to reform public procurement policies, especially the Public Procurement Act which regulates public procurement and aim to minimise the abuse of processes, rules and standards in the awards and execution of public sector contracts.

“I will also recommend that we adopt a code of ethics in doing business in Nigeria and ensure a framework to make it work.

“Integrity is the foundation of leadership as there are no moral shortcuts in the game of business and life.

“We need integrity in the public and private business and it must start at the top. Organisations and public institutions must run their businesses in a forthright manner.

“Make integrity the heart and soul of your business culture.

“If the entrepreneur does not have integrity, others who walk with him or her will definitely falter and the society will also suffer for his self-centeredness and misconduct.”

Obasanjo noted that if the operating structure of the government is transparent, accountable and operated against the backdrop of genuine transformation, economic ventures and investments would sprout and the national reserve will swell, adding that good planning will see public infrastructure booming and becoming reliable.

“When justice rules a nation, everyone is glad; when injustice rules everyone groans. Show me a righteous ruler and I will show you a happy people and a wholesome society,” he said.

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