Mr Robert S. McNamara, former presidents of the World Bank advanced the following suggestions on how to control corruption in sub-Sahara Africa:
- Require direct, clear and forceful support of the highest political authority: the president or prime minister;
- Introduce transparency and accountability in government functions, particularly in all financial transactions;
- Encourage a free press and electronic media to forcefully report to the public on corrupt practices in the society;
- Organize civil society to address the problems of corruption brought to light by the process of transparency and the activity of the media;
- Introduce into government watch-dog agencies – anti-corruption bureaus; inspectors general; auditors general and ombudsmen [government official appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by individuals against abuses or capricious acts of public officials, etc] – which will identify corruption practices and bring them to public attention;
- Minimize and simplify government regulations, particularly those involving the issuance of licenses, permits and preferential positions, thereby restricting opportunities for rent seeking by corrupt means.
- Insert anti-bribery clauses into all major procurement contracts and with the assistance of both international financial institutions and bilateral aid agencies insist that international corporations, bidding on African procurement contracts, accept such clauses and the penalties associated with their violation.
- Introduce similar anti-bribery clauses into contracts relating to privatization of government enterprises, and the development of natural resources.
- Ensure that enforcement is predictable and forceful; and
- To criminalize the acts of bribery; prohibit the deduction of bribes for tax purposes; and erect barriers to transfer to western financial institutions of financial gains derived from corrupt practices (United States Information Agency, Nov 17, 1997).
Other steps authorities could take to control corruption include:
- Declaration of Assets: The state should require that all high-level Nigerian officials (Presidents, Ministers, Legislative officers, Central bank governors, Police and Customs Chiefs, Military Generals), sign a statement granting permission to banks (both local and foreign), real estate or investment house to disclose any personal assets they may hold. Breaking this veil of secrecy, it has been argued, is crucial if assets declarations are to be verified and accountability enforced (Diamond, 1992);
- Withholding of Aid: International donors (the IMF and World Bank) can be helpful by cutting off completely distribution of assistance to any country marked for high-level corruption;
- Scrutiny for sources of income: As was pointed out above, scrutinizing individual depositors of huge sum of money, by financial institutions for sources, would go along way to curbing looting of national treasury by civil servants.
Source: Victor E. Dike, http://www.
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