Anti-corruption war not solution to economic recovery – Akwa Ibom speaker

Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Honourable Onofiok Luke has said that the ongoing anti-corruption war by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of President Muhammadu Buhari cannot pull Nigeria out of economic recession.

Honourable Luke stated this in Calabar on Thursday while delivering a lecture with the theme, ‘Nigeria’s anti-corruption war and economic recovery, the connection’ in commemoration of the birthday of Bishop Emma Isong.

According to him, the anti-corruption war must not be the only pivot for economic recovery, adding that it must not be fought at the detriment of a well planned comprehensive economic blueprint to navigate the way out of recession.

The speaker stressed that the present fight against corruption has in one way or the other exacerbated the instability in the polity to the extent that it has created political tension, which he said, was having effect on the economy.

Luke said, “While the fight against corruption is a means to an end, economic recovery and sustainability is the end itself. Whereas a successful anti-graft war cannot guarantee economic recovery, a robustly successful economy can stem corruption.

“This country’s anti-corruption war should not be seen to be highly sensational, jaundiced and thoroughly compromised due to overbearing political undertones and motives. To my mind, this is not how corruption is fought.”

He lamented that due to the tough and stringent fiscal and monetary policies of the Federal Government arising from the anti-corruption war, existing businesses are grinding to a halt, new investment initiatives are not exploited and the already existing ones have taken to their heels.

Luke added that though Nigeria is not lacking in efforts at curbing corruption, but absence of a committed leadership and political will has jeopardised the country’s effort in this regard.

“The present government must show enough political will to fight this menace because the perception of Nigerians at the moment is that the current fight against corruption is selective.

“Reforms aimed at preventing acts of corruption and reducing opportunities for corrupt practices should be introduced. Executive interference in the operations of these anti-graft agencies should be discouraged.”