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Systemic corruption and the way forward

22 April 2015, 13:33 Markjackson Dumani

The socio-political system of a place like that of human biology is self-regulating. That is, they are self-correcting through feedback.

This in essence is saying that a system is composed of regularly interacting or interrelating groups of activities. In the most general sense, system means a configuration of parts connected and joined together by a web of relationships – Wikipedia.

This is true of leadership and followership and resource allocation and the general administration of a country, state and or organization. Like the human biology the political structure is subject to the regular interaction and or interrelation between the people and leaders and the allocation of resources for the collective interest of all. It is therefore interesting to note that one cannot do without the other. Even if it does, their paths always cross.

Also Read: Main causes of corruption in Nigeria revealed

Hence, the people are paramount in this web of relationship and any manipulation of the resources of the state for personal gain will lead to a lag in the self -correcting function of a system. We are therefore interested in finding out the causes of the systemic loopholes and the way out below:

1. Revenue Allocation: The idea of sharing of money to the constituent units on monthly basis is like giving money to a beggar. The nature of a beggar is to ask for more. Hence, this affirming the Chinese saying “sit a beggar at your table and he will soon put his feet on it”. The constituents are also made to believe that the free money will keep on coming and this has not been proven otherwise. This is the situation with this monthly allocation thing. It increase laziness, indolence and increases the amount of untapped resources (i.e. under utilization). This in effect kills healthy competition.

With the dearth of healthy competition, the system transverse into a monopolistic oligarchy. The next phase is oppression and impunity by the opportunistic few. The outcome of this action is lack of interest by the citizen or active participation and the protection of the “free money” from the centre. The system becomes lethargic and this gives room for looting.

The way out of this ugly scenario is devolution. Economic power or resources must be decentralized from the exclusive list. This will open up the system from the shackles of this monopolistic opportunists and increase sense of belonging and active participation which will act as a check. This will also increase industry as each constituent and people receive according to effort rather than “free money” from the center.

Government will start to harness underutilized resources, build effective means of systemic workability, work and reward mechanism and effective collection techniques will all be put in place bearing in mind that it is work-As-You-Earn(WYE).

With these in place, the people are voluntarily called to the system as active check. This is because their money is involved and thus has to be protected. The outcome is acute competition between constituents (and even with the center) and also between the people.

2. Budgeting and collection of receivables: The “free money” syndrome has a powerful magnetic field that is attracted to budget and the budgeting process. It is no longer alien to state that our budgets has been a veritable tool for siphoning funds met for the mutual benefits of all for personal use. This is evident in our dailies of contract inflation and even high level of non-implementation of the plan of action for the fiscal year. Another area of note is the collection mechanism.

It has been crippled to the extent that some receivables are left crying for the “craftsman” to claim his/her “Returns on Investment”.

This is not a fiction, they’re in the dailies. The good news however is that Lagos state is still getting it right. You may want to ask why? Well! There is leadership and followership and the system is in full swing. Perhaps, this is the missing link between that constituent and other parts of Nigeria and the center. The people in that constituent are active not just for political reasons but also for socio-economic development. The reason had been that the collection and remittance networks are effective. Like earlier stated, economic resources has to be diffused. This singular effort will trigger the leadership-followership relationship lag in the budgeting and collection network in order hence encouraging W.Y.E rather than making opportunists to growing fat on the craft of corruption.

Also Read: Ex-Kogi Governor's theft trial deferred

3. Work and Reward: Decades age, the average Nigerian was known for its industry. This was evident in most cultures. In those cultures, it was believed that before someone becomes a man he has to show his adulthood by climbing a palm tree and uproot the palm fruit. This was how recognition or better still reward was given to work. But with the advent of oil all these are now neglected because of “free money” and acute corruption. People now receive without adequate effort or no effort.

The outcomes are evident; we virtually import almost everything we consume. It will strike you to note that we even import teeth pick.

Indolence is now our national culture. One obvious feature of this is, it gives the liberated few monopoly of the economics of the nation sometime at the detriment of the people (subsidy palaver).

Another twist to this is where recommendations are made based on personal relationship rather than on merit or hard work. People are promoted based on high power recommendations thus living the unconnected hopeless and frustrated.

Admission is also widely not based on merit hence promoting examination malpractice.

Borrowing the words of Rob Yeung: “it is better to reward people well than have them decide that the success of the business no longer matters”.

Also Read: Main causes of corruption in Nigeria revealed

In such times (period), everybody’s inside is now filled with money, cars and concrete house”, Okolo saying in the “Call of the River Nun: authored by Gabriel Okara.

Now, from a social standpoint, people become lethargic –living the system at the mercy of the "corrupt craftsmen”. The outcome is multiple corruption. From a business and financial standpoint, this is disastrous because this notion will lead to unethical practices like fraud, lack of motivation and inefficient service delivery.

The way out of this is that people have to be adequately rewarded according to effort–employment, promotion, admission and contracts should be granted based on merit or better still Work-As-You-Earn (WYE) and not on subjective grounds.

On a final note, power has to be diffused to encourage work. The economy has to be diversified. The “free money” syndrome has to be replaced with the Work-As-You-Earn (WYE) approach. The collection and remittance networks need to be strengthened to cover all taxable economic transactions. These simple measures will voluntarily re-integrate the people to be active players, followers, workers and people in the system hence

- MyNews24

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