By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Corruption is not an African issue, African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwuni Adesina had stated, noting that what is important is to continue to improve transparency, accountability and the use of public resources.
“The global financial crisis that brought the world down in 2008, that was not in Africa. We have no Wall Street. That collapse came from greed, from corruption, from fraud.
“You have people cooking the books that are in the financial industry in Europe, not in Africa. Corruption is not an African issue”, the AfDB chief was quoted by NAN as saying on Saturday.
He stated further, “The issue is that is not to say that there’s none. What you have to do is to continue to improve transparency, accountability and the use of public resources.”
Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister said during his first visit to Eritrea, he discovered the country has zero per cent record of graft.
“During my first visit to Eritrea, I was talking to UN Development Programme staff. You know what they told me? That, in Eritrea, corruption is zero per cent.
“Why do we not talk about that? That’s the kind of thing that we want to do. For us as a development bank, we take good governance very seriously.
“As far as I am concerned, people’s resources do not belong in other people’s pockets. Governments must be accountable to their people,” he said.
There has to be transparency on how resources are acquired and used, that is why we have a governance programme, he noted.
“When you get money from us, we also support you technically. You are accounting for those resources.
“I don’t want to minimise that Africa has a significant amount of illicit capital flows; it does anything between 80 billion and 100 billlion dollars a year.
“But guess what? Those that are doing that are the multinational companies. And so what we have got to do is bring a searchlight to that.”
Adesina expressed sadness about the continent’s constant position at the bottom of the value chain, saying the fastest way to poverty is through exporting raw materials, but the highway to wealth is through global value chains.