SERAP has welcomed the statement by the US Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton that corruption is the biggest obstacle to the nation’s development and growth, and urged the Federal Government “to see Mrs Clinton’s admonition as a wake-up call that should inspire the government to immediately begin to implement a genuine anti-corruption agenda for the country.”
Mrs Clinton, at a town hall meeting in Abuja in August 2009 had said that “The most immediate source of the disconnect between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is a failure of governance at the federal, states and local levels. Lack of transparency and accountability has eroded the legitimacy of the government and contributed to the rise of groups that embrace violence and reject the authority of the state.”
Earlier, SERAP had sent an open letter to Mrs Clinton urging her to press the government to institute reforms to curb corruption and achieve transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs. SERAP later said that, “Coming at a time when the government’s anti-corruption agenda hangs in the balance, Mrs Clinton’s fair assessment of the political and governance situation in the country is timely and an important reminder of the work that remains to be done.
Her consultation with a broad range of stakeholders and public support for millions of voiceless and marginalized Nigerians should be applauded. This is constructive dialogue in action, and should be embraced by other members of the international community who would like to contribute to good governance, rule of law, transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”