Stealing Is Stealing

StandPoint

Stealing Is Stealing


July 26, 2010

Corruption has blighted Nigeria; it is the major cause of our underdevelopment as a nation, and its intractability confounds us all. There are several reasons why corruption thrives and seemingly defies solution, from our over-centralized resource control/allocation system to the lack of transparency in our budgetary and fiscal processes.

The StandPoint contends, however, that one foundational problem is that as a people, we have yet to resolve the question of what constitutes corruption - the scope of its definition and the range of practices and conducts that we are ready to designate under the rubric. Resolving this naming conundrum is central to our struggle against corruption. This is no idle semantic game.

Most Nigerians assume that the ubiquity of corruption in our national life lends the subject to easy definition. Ask any Nigerian and he or she will likely reel out the familiar manifestations: bribery, embezzlement, contract inflation, conflict of interest, abuse of office, nepotism, etc. The question of naming has become one of the central problems in the fight against corruption in Nigeria today. What and when is corruption? We have to resolve this naming quagmire.

While Nigerians are fixated, and rightly so, on the familiar forms of corruption, a more insidious kind of sleaze is proliferating. It is the corruption of anticipatory stealing of appropriated and budgeted funds - a practice that permeates all levels of government in Nigeria. Across the country politicians and bureaucrats are fleecing the commonwealth by abusing the notion of democratic accountability, inverting the legislative process that is integral to it, and perverting the accounting procedures that are crucial to modern governance.

Our rulers figure out how much they want and can steal, package it in a budget proposal, and lobby their legislative partners in crime to pass it through the formal processes of law making. Once it is legislated and hence legal, there is only one name appropriate for it: budgeted corruption. And, this is all within the bounds of legitimate political transaction in our serially abused democracy. Democracy was never meant to function this way – as an enabler of corruption. But the criminal creativity of our rulers is infinitely elastic.

The practice of budgeted corruption can also be found in the private sector. Banks, companies, and other private entities that deal with the government routinely package inflated contract proposals, complete with built-in illegal payments to approving government officials.

Even international corporate players doing business on our shores have assimilated into what has become tragically normalized as a national bureaucratic and legislative ethos. They now budget huge slush funds for anticipated bribe payments. The Halliburton and Siemens scandals exemplify and dramatize the internationalization of this vice.

The recently approved huge anniversary celebration budget is the latest and perhaps most spectacular illustration of this phenomenon of "legitimized corruption" and its unrecognized threat to Nigeria and Nigerians.

The clear line that used to separate the zone of corruption from that of legality is now blurry at best. We now need to reestablish that line and isolate all acts of corruption for what they are: an added threat to Nigeria's already beleaguered citizens. Corruption has evolved, thanks to the greedy antics of our rulers. So should our legislative, bureaucratic, and law enforcement responses to it.

It is immaterial whether or not the stolen fund is written into the budget bill and passed by our elected Representatives. Stealing is stealing.

In his inaugural address, President Jonathan promised to reinvigorate the war on corruption. We understand this to mean a revitalization of the two decapitated and politicized anti-corruption agencies (the EFCC and the ICPC). We urge him and his advisers to match rhetoric with action. He should go even further and confront the growing menace of budgeted corruption, against which the two agencies are legally helpless.

________________

The StandPoint is the consensual position of the NVS editorial board.



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Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Erhue posted on 07-26-2010, 08:16:30 AM
@Alpha is correct. No matter how much we complain, if we do not take time off to register, vote and protect our votes, 'stealers' will continue to steal, and the rest of us will continue to complain.

As for choice of candidate, Ribadu is not a saint, but in the Land of the Blind, Ribadu is a One-Eyed Man. At least, he caught a few thieves
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Ariteni posted on 07-26-2010, 11:33:56 AM
"We now need to re-establish that line and isolate all acts of corruption for what they are: an added threat to Nigeria's already beleaguered citizens."
Added threat? Noooooo!!!! It is the MAJOR THREAT! Lawyers call it BREACH OF PUBLIC TRUST. That Public officers can just dip their hands into the treasury through dummy projects and EMBEZZLE govt funds is unbelievable! Almost everything govt is dummy, fake. About one per cent is real. The expenditure is dummy, the contractor is dummy, the supplied product is dummy and grossly overpriced! Its happening at Local State and Federal Levels, in the Executive, Legislative ant Judicial Arms.

Under the Military, the only type of Contract that anybody ever got on merit was WORLD BANK PROJECTS because the bids are evaluated overseas. Even then, Nigerians creatively sabotaged it once in a while. Civilians are emulating their Military predecessors. Governors have become monsters - totally unchecked and uncheckable, reckless and unaccountable to anybody for state funds. Legislators just put a price on ANY Bill and pass it for the price. Ditto the LG Chairmen and councilors.

Your commentary is off the mark. The issue is not and has never been IDENTIFICATION of corruption. The Nigerians understand the game. If they have a court case they know to go straight to the judge BEFORE looking for a lawyer. Govt supply contracts especially in Defence are a booty and your share of the national cake. Inspite of estacode and various allowances you cannot convince a public officer not to stage a dummy project and we all know the season for this feast is END OF THE YEAR when all budgetary allocations must be exhausted ahead of the new financial year. As a rule, a SUCCESSOR is forbidden from probing into previous awards by his predecessor but he could frame a supplementary. It is also assumed that ALL whistle-blowers do so because they lost out. or need their cut.

If all you have done in this piece is to identify budgetary embezzlement as a malaise then you have wasted Villagers' time. It is only one aspect though a major one and the average Nigeria already knows. You cannot teach an aspirant to public office anything about that. He knows that that is what to do ASAP to settle election expenses and TRIBUNAL expenses immediately upon assumption of office. Our Bankers are willing collaborators. The ISSUE is: HOW DO WE ASSURE PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF GOVT FUNDS? HOW DO WE SANCTION BREACHES?

First, encourage WHISTLE-BLOWERS including Nigeriavillagesquare. (I am disappointed you chickened out of the assets declaration project and the other website made a mockery of itself by giving an ULTIMATUM to Farida and and Akpabio) Tell the story of Godwin Daboh and Apper Aku to your members. A mere AFFIDAVIT was used EFFECTIVELY by these laymen while the lawyers continue with their "rule of law" noise.

Secondly, apply alternative JUSTICE. It is obvious from experience in Ibori, Orji Kalu etc that the Nigeria State and Peoples can never get justice from its courts in these corruption matters. Chances are better in overseas Courts and Law enforcement. If a system does not work or works for some but not others why should you continue to apply it?
Farida Waziri and Dora Akunyili allege that corrupt officials including drug pushers beg them to charge their cases to court and then ridicule them once bail is secured. These challenges are NOT unanswerable. They are what we have to face NOT identification of corruption.
I rest my case.
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Abraxas posted on 07-26-2010, 17:50:02 PM
Hi, folks!

The Principle of Separation of Powers, that conceptually compartmentalizes responsibility of governance into the the executive
, legislature and the judiciary in modern democracies worldwide, seems to have broken down in the Nigerian political culture space.

If I may ask: What are the checks and balances in the Nigerian governance system that prevents or curtails the excesses of the executive, or the legislature, or the judiciary, given their innate proclivity for taking Nigerians to ransom?

When it suits them, judges of the Nigerian judiciary effortlessly, and shamelessly rape justice and fair play, reeling out torrents of cock-eyed interlocutory injunctions for perpetuity, and all manner of crazy judgements that confound EVEN the Devil herself!

As for the 774 local government chairmen, 36 state governors and the president, their erroneously assumed infallibility, self-conferred omniscience, and constitutionally guaranteed immunity, all contribute to reinforce and compound the brazenness and sheer audacity of their financial recklessness and bare-faced embezzlement of public funds.

Now, members of the Nigerian legislature have developed voluntary collective schizophrenia, and they are daring Nigerians to do their worst.

Shyte!

Is the Nigerian judiciary in suspended animation?

What ACTUALLY does the Nigerian judiciary do beyond legitimizing illegalities?

What checks and balances have the Nigerian judiciary EVER attempted to enforce given the unfortunate records of the rather cavalier and prodigal mind set of both the executive and the legislature, the so-called elected representatives of over 150 million Nigerians worldwide.

Enough is now enough.

There is something toxic, repugnant, foul, debased, and irredeemably WRONG about the leadership of both Brigadier General David Mark (GCON), the Senate President, and former chairman of the Abandoned Property Commission, and Otunba Oladimeji Bankole (CFR), the Speaker of the House of Represntatives.

If Nigeria's legislators cannot purge themselves of the governance style of the past 30 years (or so) of a pot-pourri of military dictatorship,and predatory autocracy, embedded in institutionalized impunity, then they are indirectly telling Nigerians that their opinions DO NOT COUNT. Period!

That message is unacceptable.

Muchas gracias.

Don Juan-Carlos ABRAXAS (III)
Stealing Is Stealing
The StandPoint posted on 07-26-2010, 22:24:10 PM
The recently approved huge anniversary celebration budget is the latest and perhaps most spectacular illustration of this phenomenon of "legitimized corruption" and its unrecognized threat to Nigeria and Nigerians.

The clear line that used to separate the zone of corruption from that of legality is now blurry at best. We now need to reestablish that line and isolate all acts of corruptions for what they are: an added threat to Nigeria's already beleaguered citizens. Corruption has evolved, thanks to the greedy antics of our rulers. So should our legislative, bureaucratic, and law enforcement responses to it.

It is immaterial whether or not the stolen fund is written into the budget bill and passed by our elected Representatives. Stealing is stealing.

Read full article
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Alpha posted on 07-26-2010, 22:24:10 PM

StandPoint


Stealing Is Stealing




July 26, 2010

Corruption has blighted Nigeria; it is the major cause of our underdevelopment as a nation, and its intractability confounds us all. There are several reasons why corruption thrives and seemingly defies solution, from our over-centralized resource control/allocation system to the lack of transparency in our budgetary and fiscal processes.


The StandPoint contends, however, that one foundational problem is that as a people, we have yet to resolve the question of what constitutes corruption - the scope of its definition and the range of practices and conducts that we are ready to designate under the rubric. Resolving this naming conundrum is central to our struggle against corruption. This is no idle semantic game.

Most Nigerians assume that the ubiquity of corruption in our national life lends the subject to easy definition. Ask any Nigerian and he or she will likely reel out the familiar manifestations: bribery, embezzlement, contract inflation, conflict of interest, abuse of office, nepotism, etc. The question of naming has become one of the central problems in the fight against corruption in Nigeria today. What and when is corruption? We have to resolve this naming quagmire.


While Nigerians are fixated, and rightly so, on the familiar forms of corruption, a more insidious kind of sleaze is proliferating. It is the corruption of anticipatory stealing of appropriated and budgeted funds - a practice that permeates all levels of government in Nigeria. Across the country politicians and bureaucrats are fleecing the commonwealth by abusing the notion of democratic accountability, inverting the legislative process that is integral to it, and perverting the accounting procedures that are crucial to modern governance.


Our rulers figure out how much they want and can steal, package it in a budget proposal, and lobby their legislative partners in crime to pass it through the formal processes of law making. Once it is legislated and hence legal, there is only one name appropriate for it: budgeted corruption. And, this is all within the bounds of legitimate political transaction in our serially abused democracy. Democracy was never meant to function this way – as an enabler of corruption. But the criminal creativity of our rulers is infinitely elastic.


The practice of budgeted corruption can also be found in the private sector. Banks, companies, and other private entities that deal with the government routinely package inflated contract proposals, complete with built-in illegal payments to approving government officials.


Even international corporate players doing business on our shores have assimilated into what has become tragically normalized as a national bureaucratic and legislative ethos. They now budget huge slush funds for anticipated bribe payments. The Halliburton and Siemens scandals exemplify and dramatize the internationalization of this vice.


The recently approved huge anniversary celebration budget is the latest and perhaps most spectacular illustration of this phenomenon of "legitimized corruption" and its unrecognized threat to Nigeria and Nigerians.


The clear line that used to separate the zone of corruption from that of legality is now blurry at best. We now need to reestablish that line and isolate all acts of corruption for what they are: an added threat to Nigeria's already beleaguered citizens. Corruption has evolved, thanks to the greedy antics of our rulers. So should our legislative, bureaucratic, and law enforcement responses to it.


It is immaterial whether or not the stolen fund is written into the budget bill and passed by our elected Representatives. Stealing is stealing.


In his inaugural address, President Jonathan promised to reinvigorate the war on corruption. We understand this to mean a revitalization of the two decapitated and politicized anti-corruption agencies (the EFCC and the ICPC). We urge him and his advisers to match rhetoric with action. He should go even further and confront the growing menace of budgeted corruption, against which the two agencies are legally helpless.


________________

The StandPoint is the consensual position of the NVS editorial board.




..Read the full article
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Koko_tee posted on 07-26-2010, 23:52:02 PM
@Ariteni... you have spoken well. Your wisdom will continue to grow and stand strong like an Iroko tree. The elders salute you!!!!!!!
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Araba posted on 07-27-2010, 00:16:37 AM
There is no doubt that corruption has eaten away at the fabric of Nigeria's national life. I commend the way The Standpoint Board has introduced a new dimension, i.e the process of Budgeting and Appropriations in Nigeria entrenches corruption. Extrapolating, it therefore means that the whole business of Governance in Nigeria is a huge corruption machine.

    Anywonder my Dear Professor Ben Nwabueze (Whose books and articles on Constitutional Law, I slept with under my pillow at school), is asking for a bloody revolution, contre-temps huh.
    I read some of the reactions here and I am totally flabbergasted that settlement is almost like accepted culture in Nigeria. But the effects are deleterious.


    In a corrupt environment where everybody is demanding for his own, for every Ten Dollars or Ten Naira voted for a Project, maybe four or six dollars gets spent on the project. Delays, cost overruns, not to talk of hardship (as in the community cannot benefit from the project) is the result.

    To the specific example of Nigeria's 50th Anniversary, Segun Aganga (Nigeria's Minister of Finance and a slightly credible voice in Nigeria's nomenklatura) claims the huge bill is a result of Capital Expenditure on Nigeria's Airports. But what happened to the Capital Expenditure of the Aviation Ministry (Under Which I believe FAAN falls) in 2010? Questions, Questions.


    In the U.S, I know the Pork-Barrel syndrome is prevalent. But for each Pork Barrel Project tied to a specific legislation, there is The GAO (Government Accounting Office) vetting that Federal (public) funds are spent on that specific project. Thereby ensuring a higher rate of success.
    It is evident that Nigeria appears enmeshed in an unending cycle. At the rate at which the society is going though it will take decades before the populace can enjoy the benefits of Democratic Governance. Along the way, Nigerians might have to travel along the Nwabueze Route.
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Dewdrops posted on 07-27-2010, 00:25:40 AM
If tiefing is tiefing......whiarrrris the Haliburton list???

No o!

Tiefing is not tiefing in Nigeria....

For diarrra tiefs and diarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrra TIEFS!

Big difference!!!!



QUOTE:
There is no doubt that corruption has eaten away at the fabric of Nigeria's national life. I commend the way The Standpoint Board has introduced a new dimension,[b] i.e the process of Budgeting and Appropriations in Nigeria entrenches corruption. Extrapolating, it therefore means that the whole business of Governance in Nigeria is a huge corruption machine.

    Anywonder my Dear Professor Ben Nwabueze (Whose books and articles on Constitutional Law, I slept with under my pillow at school), is asking for a bloody revolution, contre-temps huh.
    I read some of the reactions here and I am totally flabbergasted that settlement is almost like accepted culture in Nigeria. But the effects are deleterious.


    In a corrupt environment where everybody is demanding for his own, for every Ten Dollars or Ten Naira voted for a Project, maybe four or six dollars gets spent on the project. Delays, cost overruns, not to talk of hardship (as in the community cannot benefit from the project) is the result.

    To the specific example of Nigeria's 50th Anniversary, Segun Aganga (Nigeria's Minister of Finance and a slightly credible voice in Nigeria's nomenklatura) claims the huge bill is a result of Capital Expenditure on Nigeria's Airports. But what happened to the Capital Expenditure of the Aviation Ministry (Under Which I believe FAAN falls) in 2010? Questions, Questions.


    In the U.S, I know the Pork-Barrel syndrome is prevalent. But for each Pork Barrel Project tied to a specific legislation, there is The GAO (Government Accounting Office) vetting that Federal (public) funds are spent on that specific project. Thereby ensuring a higher rate of success.
    It is evident that Nigeria appears enmeshed in an unending cycle. At the rate at which the society is going though it will take decades before the populace can enjoy the benefits of Democratic Governance. Along the way, Nigerians might have to travel along the Nwabueze Route. [/B]


Whooooooooooooooooomp!
Dia irrrrrrrrrrriz!!!
Re: Stealing Is Stealing
Dewdrops posted on 07-27-2010, 00:36:32 AM
QUOTE:
There is no doubt that corruption has eaten away at the fabric of Nigeria's national life. I commend the way The Standpoint Board has introduced a new dimension,[b] i.e the process of Budgeting and Appropriations in Nigeria entrenches corruption. Extrapolating, it therefore means that the whole business of Governance in Nigeria is a huge corruption machine.

    Anywonder my Dear Professor Ben Nwabueze (Whose books and articles on Constitutional Law, I slept with under my pillow at school), is asking for a bloody revolution, contre-temps huh.
    I read some of the reactions here and I am totally flabbergasted that settlement is almost like accepted culture in Nigeria. But the effects are deleterious.


    In a corrupt environment where everybody is demanding for his own, for every Ten Dollars or Ten Naira voted for a Project, maybe four or six dollars gets spent on the project. Delays, cost overruns, not to talk of hardship (as in the community cannot benefit from the project) is the result.

    To the specific example of Nigeria's 50th Anniversary, Segun Aganga (Nigeria's Minister of Finance and a slightly credible voice in Nigeria's nomenklatura) claims the huge bill is a result of Capital Expenditure on Nigeria's Airports. But what happened to the Capital Expenditure of the Aviation Ministry (Under Which I believe FAAN falls) in 2010? Questions, Questions.


    In the U.S, I know the Pork-Barrel syndrome is prevalent. But for each Pork Barrel Project tied to a specific legislation, there is The GAO (Government Accounting Office) vetting that Federal (public) funds are spent on that specific project. Thereby ensuring a higher rate of success.
    It is evident that Nigeria appears enmeshed in an unending cycle. At the rate at which the society is going though it will take decades before the populace can enjoy the benefits of Democratic Governance. Along the way, Nigerians might have to travel along the Nwabueze Route. [/B]


Whooooooooooooooooomp!
Dia irrrrrrrrrrriz!!!

Decades? You mean centuries.
I ain't bothered much cuz anyhoo....not in our lifetimes. :shake:
Don't worry....be happy. :rose

Let us just enjoy all the big-big grammar on NVS and beyond jare.....aftreall, we can't lose all ways. lol
What Is The Nwabueze Route?
Dewdrops posted on 07-27-2010, 00:45:31 AM
QUOTE:
The clear line that used to separate the zone of corruption from that of legality is now blurry at best. We now need to reestablish that line and isolate all acts of corruption for what they are: an added threat to Nigeria's already beleaguered citizens. Corruption has evolved, thanks to the greedy antics of our rulers. So should our legislative, bureaucratic, and law enforcement responses to it.

It is immaterial whether or not the stolen fund is written into the budget bill and passed by our elected Representatives. Stealing is stealing.

In his inaugural address, President Jonathan promised to reinvigorate the war on corruption. We understand this to mean a revitalization of the two decapitated and politicized anti-corruption agencies (the EFCC and the ICPC). We urge him and his advisers to match rhetoric with action. He should go even further and confront the growing menace of budgeted corruption, against which the two agencies are legally helpless.


A nation of "urges" and "urgers"???
We have to "urge" him and his advisers to match rhetoric with action???
In a democracy???

Soooooooooo.......lemme understand this.


We all have to grovel to Jonathan and his advisers to do the right thing for the people of Nigeria as representatives of the Nigerian populace.

No kidding!
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