A former presidential candidate of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA, in the 2019 elections, Shittu Muhammad-Kabir, has lamented that corruption and corrupt practices are caused by greed and lack of reward for merit in the country.
Mr Muhammad-Kabir, who stated this during an interview with DAILY NIGERIAN in Abuja, stressed that the cankerworm has eaten deep into our society.
According to him, every Nigerian is guilty of what we found ourselves in.
He said: “First of all, I want to say we are all guilty as a people. Corruption has eaten deep into our society. Then what are the causes of corruption? The causes are we don’t compensate merit.
“Our reward is based on federal character. Rather than character, our reward system should be based on merit.
“People now look at the country as confectionary and that everyone must get what he wants to take to his family so they can feed him.
“So, we don’t fashion a policy with which even when you return, you’ll be in your own house with all the facilities that make life bearable.
“Our system does not permit that. It abandons you as soon as you retire. Therefore, people start thinking how do I go home penniless and I cannot access my pension fund.
“That is the beginning because the civil servant who is supposed to put up policies and then implement and be able to carry it out. Even the enforcers; the police, the armed forces cannot and do not have belief and even when they do, they may not be able to access their pensions.
“So, everybody now thinks okay I can grab and go to my house. So we must start from there. People must be given life.
“People must believe that when they serve meritoriously, they can be compensated and then when they misbehave or they get themselves entangled with corruption, they can also be punished.
“There must be sanction and reward in our system. It must be sincere. There must be punishment and reward in our government. It must be sincere.”
Mr Muhammad-Kabir, therefore, urged the Federal Government to ban the exportation of raw materials until they are processed.
He said: “It’s time for us to use this COVID-19 opportunity to bring the world to Nigeria to come and buy our food and we can’t achieve this until we add value to our raw materials.
“It brings me to say the government must ban the exportation of raw materials until it is processed because that is where the value changes.
“That is where our youths will get jobs. That is where we provide wealth to our rural populace.
“These are areas that we need most as people look at. No country can industrialize without power and technology has given us various ways. Nigeria has gas in abundance.
“We can use it to power our country. We have sun, which we can use solar to power our country.
“We also have water, so wherever hydro is suitable we go into hydro. Wherever we know, like in the coastal area where we have abundant gas resources, we should tap into it to give power to our people.
“We shouldn’t emphasize the use of the national grid. The national grid can be there, but we can allow individuals to generate, transmit, distribute and pay tax.
“This way, we open our rural area into manufacturing home and the world will come to Nigeria for their food.”