Corruption is systemic, endemic and entrenched in our system and one of the ways to combat it is to get people sensitized on the evils of corruption. The bane of Nigerian society today is corruption. It is corruption that kept us where we are today that despite all the resources, potentials we have as a nation we have not been able to grow to become a developed nation. So what is to be done in other to minimize corruption is for people to be well educated about the evils of corruption and the need for them to comply. For instance in the industry, non-compliance to trade rules and regulations is what is bringing about corruption because when importers are ready to comply to import regulations then that will help in minimizing cases of corruption in the system. Again, the government agencies that are supposed to regulate the industry are also part of the corrupt system because they are always expecting bribe from the agents even from the top hierarchy. I think if people are afraid that they could be caught, they could be reported to higher authority and that they could lose their jobs they will minimize their appetite for corruption.
From a personal point of view I think that corruption in the port is more of a cartel or a mafia setting. The first thing to do is to make an effort to break that cartel and if they have a shepherd, he should be struck so that the sheep would scatter. Individually, they can’t do it because so many people are involved including individuals in Customs, security officials including NPA’s and others involved in the freight forwarding chain. I cannot exonerate the freight forwarders from it because it takes two to tango. So you are stuck in one way or the other .With widespread corruption in the port, anybody who wants to play out will be playing single and at the end of the day you will not be relevant, they will find a way to kick you out, so in a way, everybody is getting stuck in but we are trying to break that mafia setting. Corruption is everywhere but I think the port is the most corrupt place in Nigeria and I don’t know if the federal government is aware of the enormity of corrupt practices in the port, otherwise there should be a deliberate focus in that direction so that something can be done to engender the reduction of corruption in the port. I believe tackling it from there will go a long way in reducing corrupt cases in the country.
Corruption is a cankerworm and there is no individual or nation that can succeed in an atmosphere where corruption is the order of the day. Corruption needs a drastic action to checkmate it and one of the drastic action is part of what NAGAFF did by setting up the anti-corruption committee to assist the government in other to check the scourge and I believe that they will do justice to it because we are all in the society and of course in the mainstream of the supply chain movement, so we know where the corruption is domicile. The port is customs port and you will agree with me that in any business that has interface there is every tendency that corruption will crop in and because we are involved, we know where the issue is and we shall penetrate there and if not eliminate it entirely we will reduce it to the barest minimum.
I have continuously said that any organization that lacks discipline thrives in a corrupt euphoria and a corrupt society lacks a stable nation. Any good citizen of the law is supposed to lean on the law and work within the ambit of the law that makes one a good citizen. Corruption is systemic, it’s like passing a baton from one person to another. So, we all have to rally round Mr. President to stem the tide of corruption so that we can have our pride of place among the committee of nations. To address the issue of corruption, it starts from an individual so we have to discipline ourselves before we think of trying to look unto another person to be corrupt free. It’s a personal thing and there is need for national reorientation. For over two decades, corruption has been in the port system, so it has to be collective effort to stem the tide of corruption.
A typical black man believes that he has to cut corners to achieve what he wants and there is civilized government that likes that. Any other thing short of following the due process to achieve one’s aim is corrupt practice. We cannot stamp out corruption entirely but we can reduce it to a minimal level first by reorientation of the giver and the receiver because they are both liable.
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