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Corruption still rife in Nigeria, visiting British MP alleges

Posted by By AMES OJO, Abuja on 2005/08/10 | Views: 363 |

Corruption still rife in Nigeria, visiting British MP alleges


A member of the British Parliament, Hon John Robertson, Tuesday told deflated members of the House of Representatives that the fight against corruption in the country was long from being won.

A member of the British Parliament, Hon John Robertson, Tuesday told deflated members of the House of Representatives that the fight against corruption in the country was long from being won.

Robertson, member of a 3-man House of Commons Delegation currently visiting the country briefed the lawmakers on his sad experience in the hands of some Nigerian policemen at the Abuja airport.

The MP told members of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that men of the Nigeria police demanded bribe from him shortly after they arrived the country.
Sharing his experience at the International Airport, Abuja, Hon Robertson said that they were shocked to see police asking for a tip.

Apart from the airport experience, he said that his team saw extortion in several places visited. "We saw extortion in many places. This is denting your image abroad. Any kind of extortion is severely punished in my country no matter the person involved. Corruption is your bane," Robertson told the House.
Hon Robertson, chairman of the All Party Parliamentarians Group (APPG) in the British parliament was of the view that Nigeria needs to further tackle the cankerworm called corruption so that democracy and good governance would be fully rooted in the country.

Notwithstanding the experience with the Nigeria Police, Hon Robertson said that the British Government would not stop to assist Nigeria in her developmental efforts.
"I can say that the recent debt relief granted your country is just the beginning of more assistance to Nigeria, all you need is to ask for it, Nigeria is very important to Africa and the world at large," he said.
The APPG chairman lamented what he saw at the oil producing communities, particularly environmental degradation, oil spillage and want.

"We went round the Niger Delta region, we saw the good and the bad. We saw the damage the oil companies were doing. We saw children bathing and washing clothes in the same water they fetch home for drinking. Our agenda is to help and see how these problems could be solved, and we shall report back to the British Parliament," he assured.

Hon Robertson led two other members, Hon Jim Sheridan and Hon Anne Moffat to Nigeria to have a first- hand information on the problems and developmental needs of the oil producing communities of the Niger Delta region.

Speaker of the House, Hon Aminu Bello Masari had asked the parliamentarians to keep assisting Nigeria as concrete efforts are being intensified to address the problems of the Niger Delta region, and to deliver to the people dividends of democracy.

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