By Nuel Suji – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has disclosed that over $9 billion dollar was discovered to have been stolen from the Nigeria treasury by corrupt officials.
Speaking Friday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Kerry who noted the anti-corruption effort of the Muhammadu Buhari led government, called on the global business community to demand for good governance in countries of their interest, saying corruption is a destroyer of opportunity.
The U.S. Secretary of State also noted to the ongoing cases of corruption in Nigeria in which monies meant for purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram was looted by state official, while soldiers were left without adequate weapons to fight the insurgents.
He said it was discovered, just this week, that $9billion dollars was stolen from the Nigeria treasury by people including government officials.
Kerry further said the U.S. would redouble its commitment to fighting corruption as a national security priority that costs the global economy some $2.6 trillion a year and “complicates every single security, diplomatic, and social initiative we undertake.”
“We have to acknowledge in all quarters of leadership that the plagues of violent extremism, greed, lust for power, and sectarian exploitation often find their nourishment where governments are fragile and leaders are incompetent or dishonest,” Kerry said in a keynote address to the forum.
He noted that graft and ineffective governance had either caused or contributed greatly to crises in Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine, Libya and Yemen and thus had become an international, rather than purely domestic, problem.
“The fact is there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more demoralizing and disempowering to any citizen of any nation than the belief the system is rigged against them and that people in positions of power are — to use a diplomatic term of art — crooks who are stealing the future of their own people; and by the way, depositing their ill-gotten gains in ostensibly legitimate financial institutions around the world,” Kerry said.
He said corruption is a social danger, a radicalizer used as a recruitment tool by extremist groups, and a destroyer of opportunity.
“The bottom line is that it’s everybody’s responsibility to condemn and expose corruption, to hold perpetrators accountable, and to replace a culture of corruption,” Kerry said.
“Never forget: the impact of corruption touches everyone,” he said. “We all pay for it. So we have to wage this fight collectively — not reluctantly, but wholeheartedly by embracing standards that make corruption the exception, not the norm.”
Additional reports from San Francisco Chronicle