Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo granted The Guardian Uk an interview where he talked about corruption and investment opportunities in Nigeria. Excerpts......
"There is no part of the world where corruption is absolutely eliminated. But [in other countries] that corruption has not been a way of life. When you are found, you are dealt with. And that's what we need."
Chief Obasanjo who was in the UK to promote investment in Nigeria disclosed that “Fighting corruption is not a one-night affair.”
But for all the optimism surrounding Nigeria, inequity and underdevelopment remain. In Lagos, the commercial capital, Victoria Island has some of the world's most
more after the jump
expensive real estate. Yet that wealth sits cheek-by-jowl with artisan charcoal burners and hawkers eking out a living.
Many put this inequality down to the constant ebb-and-flow of kickbacks and bribes that have long been a feature of Nigeria's political and business scene. In a country ranked 143 in the world on the Transparency International corruption perception index, civil society fights a perennial battle with institutionalised corruption, which has led to some officials – including some of Nigeria's extraordinarily influential state governors – becoming dollar billionaires.
“The givers of most of the corruption in Africa are from outside Africa,” he said. “They do in Africa, they would not do in their own countries. In my part of the world, we have a saying that the man who carries a pot of palm oil from the ceiling is not the only thief. He has an accomplice in the man who helps him to bring it down. The giver and the taker are criminals, and they should be treated as such.”
Former President Obasanjo is now working as a roving ambassador, facilitating companies’ entry into the country and the rest of Africa. He said he believes that positive examples of business success will encourage avaricious minds to look for more legitimate routes to wealth.
“I still believe in the opportunities that Africa affords to make legitimate money. Africa is one place I believe that if you are courageous enough, you get the money, you can invest and get 25% return on your investment annually. There aren’t many places in the world where you can get that return,” he said
Read the full interview here.